Young Lives Matter Foundation aims to save young lives at UWA

Young Lives Matter Foundation chairman Ronald Woss AM. Picture: Supplied
Young Lives Matter Foundation chairman Ronald Woss AM. Picture: Supplied

A NEW foundation at UWA is aiming to save young lives.

The Young Lives Matter Foundation will support research to identify trigger points for youth suicide and help predict when a person is at high risk.

The foundation was launched last Friday by Foreign Affairs Minister and Member for Curtin Julie Bishop, and will bring together medical professionals, mathematicians and data analysts.

Foundation chairman Ronald Woss’ daughter tragically took her own life in 1988, and said there was a great urgency for research to identify those at risk so families, medical practitioners and the community could provide support.

“Every month, every year that we don’t do something to address this issue we are losing more and more young lives,” he said.

“We need to better understand what the stressors are throughout young people’s lives and get to them early.”

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater said the project would develop a worldwide risk index to assist young people.

“Youth suicide is an increasingly complex issue and there are huge benefits to undertaking this project now, given advances in modelling and analytics as well as mental health research,” Prof Freshwater said.

The foundation has received seed funding from John Harriot, the R.W. Woss AM Family and the estate of Ted Finn, and is now looking to secure further funding.

If you or someone you know needs support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636. Young people can also access headspace on 1800 650 890 or at headspace.org.au.

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