5 MINUTES: Youth Mental Health

As I stand here today, an estimated 2.2 million Australians are living with anxiety, 1.5 million are suffering depression and, on average, nine Australians per day tragically take their own life.

It is sad to see that, according to Beyond Blue, 75 per cent of mental health challenges start before the age of 25.

Youth mental health is one of the most pressing issues of our time.

That is why we’re making sure there are appropriate and relevant supports that are easily accessible for those in need, and that’s become a priority of mine.

To make this happen, we need a youth perspective on youth issues, and I’m partnering with Tom and Wilson from youth mental health organisation You Are Not Alone to deliver my Bonner Youth Mental Health Forum.

As young people themselves, Tom and Wilson have run mental health workshops with over 16 local schools and reached over 50,000 students in South-East Queensland.

Each year, Tom and Wilson also organise the You Are Not Alone Fun Run, and I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in, supporting and attending this event since it started.

Last year it was fantastic to see over 2,000 participants running to raise awareness for youth mental health, with over $37,000 raised for Lifeline Queensland.

This year’s run will be held on 16 June in Brisbane’s CBD.

The Your Are Not Alone Fun Run is a great day to shine a light on mental health and bring young people together for a conversation.

I encourage anyone who lives in or around Brisbane to get behind this great cause by registering through the You Are Not Alone website.

As much as I look forward to attending this year’s You Are Not Alone Fun Run, I would like to talk a little bit more about my Bonner Youth Mental Health Forum.

The Bonner Youth Mental Health Forum is an opportunity for the youth in our community to have their say on how to better support young people struggling with mental health challenges.

It is putting the youth at the centre of decision-making and making sure that we develop solutions for young people by young people.

It will be held on Saturday 4 May at Mount Gravatt High School.

I urge all those in the Bonner community who are aged between 15 and 25 to RSVP for this event.

This is your opportunity to have your voice heard, and I can’t wait to see you there and have you share all your great ideas.