Youth Focus helps more than 2500 youths


Youth Focus chief executive Fiona Kalaf identified the top issues (see table) affecting youth aged between 12 and 25.
Youth Focus chief executive Fiona Kalaf identified the top issues (see table) affecting youth aged between 12 and 25.

IN the last financial year Youth Focus has helped more than 2500 young people with nearly 92 per cent experiencing depression, and 70 per cent having suicidal thoughts.

Youth Focus is an organisation working to prevent youth suicide by offering free counselling for young people aged 12 to 25 years.

The issues facing young people include social challenges like bullying and study pressures, economic challenges including housing and financial instability, discrimination and alcohol and drugs, according to Youth Focus chief executive Fiona Kalaf.

She encouraged young people to access support services like Youth Care or school counsellors and chaplains, to talk to a friend or teacher or parent, or contact headspace or Reachout.

Parents should look for a positive outlook in their children, with a good self-esteem, and ability to be social with others and manage feelings and responses to a range of situations.

“If a teen’s feelings or behaviour differ from this for a period long enough to interfere with everyday life, it is time to seek help,” she said.

For help, call Youth Care on 9376 5000 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Mental Health Week, to be held from October 8 to 15, is promoting the Act-Belong-Commit message this year with a focus on suicide prevention.

For a list of events, visit mhw.waamh.org.au/2016-events.

Youth Focus percentages for presenting issues

Depression 91.94

Suicide Ideation 70.09

Anxiety 77.13

School issue 61.44

Non-suicidal self-injury 56.74

Family conflict 50

Esteem 23.75

Adjustment 16.57

Drugs/alcohol 16.75

Sex Abuse 7.77