ABC Heywire

Contribute to the Change: Improving mental health knowledge and understanding.

At the inaugural 2021 ABC Heywire Youth Ideas Lab in Broken Hill, NSW, 27 young regional Australians developed five exciting ideas to champion positive change. The young people took part in a week of storytelling and leadership development to generate their ideas to make regional Australia an even better place to live. Apply Now for a grant of up to $10,000 to implement one of the youth-led ideas in your community, as part of the FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants.

How might we have meaningful conversations about mental health?

Do you feel heard as a young person when talking about mental health? Do you know what support services there are out there for you? And if so, do you feel like you would actually use them?

It’s time to change the language around mental health. It’s time to change the education around mental health.

It’s time to Contribute to the Change!

Poor mental health and asking for help is still so stigmatised, and, in schools, students often feel like they don’t actually know where they can go to get help. Even if they do know, they don’t always feel confident to go and use the support available to them.

Contribute to the Change wants mental health education to be fun, informative, personal, interactive and delivered on a more frequent and consistent basis

Contribute to the Change is a program aimed at helping young people improve their mental health knowledge and understanding so they are confident to seek the help they need.

It also aims to connect young people to their local mental health support options and demystify the process of seeking help.

By connecting and collaborating with healthcare professionals and their services, we hope to make these services less scary and unfamiliar to them.

When needed, young people will know what services are available, where they are and what they are offering.

This could be done by providing young people with regular workshops or short courses (run by health experts) that educate them about mental health risks, build mental health awareness, and equip them with tools and strategies to look out for poor mental health in themselves and others.

Through learning by doing and understanding, these workshops and short courses will be interactive, action-focused, and personable.

They will provide a clear roadmap for what to do when you’re not feeling okay, or a friend tells you they are struggling.

Why this matters to us

“When I was younger, I struggled with anxiety and I didn’t know where to go for support. I would love to see Contribute to the Change be implemented in communities to help de-stigmatise mental health conditions and provide safe ways for us all to get support.”

Nickolas, ‘Contribute to the Change’ team member

“I don’t think people feel safe or comfortable to seek support when they are struggling; I want people experiencing poor mental health to have way more support and know where they can go when they need help.”

Zara, ‘Contribute to the Change’ team member

Could your community adopt this idea?

Contribute to the Change could be run by schools, neighbourhood centres, mental health support organisations, local councils, not for profits and community groups.

It could link in with the health curriculum and existing leadership or youth mental health programs.

We would love to see partnerships between groups that are interested in tackling mental health, education, and awareness in new, interactive, and innovative approaches.

Contribute to the Change could be tailored to other organisations like sporting clubs, community groups and youth organisations as well.

We hope to see immediate and ongoing impacts on young people’s resilience and benefits to their mental health in regional communities.

To help adapt Contribute to the Change and help positively impact mental health in your region, apply for up to $10,000 to kick-start the project.

See the full list of ideas from the 2021 Heywire Youth Ideas Lab:

Head to the FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants Application Portal to apply today!

Applications close August 19, 2021

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/heywire/2021-heywire-grant-youth-ideas–contribute-to-the-change/13435488?fbclid=IwAR3eA3RzxZWF9RlbPjP0ZhELU9p4aPAycB9TSEryghc-q1wDWHLZlWT8aWA

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