Youth mental health workshop

Mental health in the spotlight

Thanks to the Fay Fuller Foundation, young people are at the centre of a new project led by The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) to uncover how we can better equip South Australian communities to be the community responders’ before, during and after a mental health crisis.  The activities of this project will continue in to the first half of 2020.

As part of the project team, a group of young people with the support of TACSI will be leading the insight gathering phase of this project. This will see these young people connecting with and listening to people in their communities about their wants, needs, ideas and possibly unknown already existing responses to mental health crisis.

These young people come from a range of backgrounds, many have first-hand experience of living in and around mental health challenges in their communities. Because of this these young people have a distinct advantage in how they relate to and actively involve others in conversations about mental health challenges.  As a result we anticipate the insights they gather to have significant depth, truth and raw authenticity.

Carla Clarence, Principal – Social Health believes

‘It’s a unique opportunity to get young people involved in the surfacing of key insights. They are the best people for this work due to their intense passion about people being able to ‘access’ and ‘feel’ true well-being.  Our future is in good hands with these young people’.

After this initial phase, insights gathered will be shared with a curated co-design group. This group, consisting of people with lived experience, people working in and for the mental health system will then co-design these insights into community led ideas that will be tested in the real world, bringing innovation to life. Simultaneously we intend to tell the stories of this project in a variety of ways in order to bring people along the journey and to inspire the need and imperative formalisation of community led responses in to our system.

Youth Mental Health

As another arm of the project team, young ‘story tellers’ will be supporting TACSI to create and tell these stories. Communities such as the young people involved in insight gathering can themselves be a fundamental part of the solution. By uncovering mental health and well-being solutions through the eyes of young people who are themselves affected by these challenges is a powerful platform for change.

Josh Moorhouse, an Insight Guide on the project revealed why this is so important to him,

“The reality is I spent 40% of 2017 in hospital and mental health rehabilitation. When I came out of hospital, I made a very deliberate decision to live life with my values, and got involved in a lot of youth initiatives. Each year 65,000 Australians attempt suicide and I was one of them, so this is at the heart of what I do, and why I believe this human-centred, and community-led approach is needed”.

There is continuing evidence that the public health landscape in South Australia is changing along with the demographic of who is accessing health and wellbeing services within South Australia. There are signals of a more decentralised approach from state government, based on broader notions of wellbeing and the social determinants of health. However this is not enough.

Why this project now? Despite significant investment, including in Headspace centres nationally, suicide rates alone are at a 10 year high. It is clear that significant Government funding alone will not deliver the results South Australian’s require in the long term. This is where Fay Fuller Foundation has found a new focus by funding regional and community-based initiatives and is partnering with TACSI.

September 12 is RU ok Day

Got a niggling feeling that someone you know or care about it isn’t behaving as they normally would? Perhaps they seem out of sorts? More agitated or withdrawn? Or they’re just not themselves. Trust that gut instinct and act on it.

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