Call out to young people
WITH mental health a key community issue as lockdown is extended, students and young people across the region are encouraged to join a Youth Mental Health round table today (Friday, July 23).
Corangamite federal member Libby Coker said the Zoom session aimed to provide young people from across the Surf Coast, Bellarine and Geelong with an opportunity to raise their concerns about the pandemic’s impact on their mental health.
Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health Emma McBride, Ocean Grove’s OneWorth founder Kirsten Roberts and Surf Coast Secondary College representative Tyson Williams will be among the participants at the online forum which starts at 4pm.
“Mental health is a hugely important issue especially given COVID, and I am looking forward to sharing my views at the round table,” Tyson said.
Ms Roberts, who founded the local program which aims to develop a sense of self-worth in girls and young women, said the pandemic and constant uncertainty with lockdowns was having a huge impact on youth mental health.
“Private psychologists are booked out many months in advance with often even the waiting list closed.
“The public mental health system is overflowing.
“The system was challenging before. Now it’s desperate. So many more resources are required for mental health support both at the school level and the health system level.”
Ms Coker said OneWorth was an approved partner of Headspace Geelong, which proactively supported girls in their formative years and setting them up with the tools to be capable and strong for life.
“Headspace Ocean Grove should hopefully be opening its doors very soon,” she said.
“This roundtable will be an important gauge of what other services are needed across our region.
“We must listen to our young people’s experiences and identify what mental health supports they need.
“This important issue should be high on the list of priorities for our federal government to address.”
To register for the Zoom forum, head to Libby Coker’s website.