Help shape brighter futures for young people with mental illness

Hundreds of young Western Australians with mental health issues will require extra intervention in early 2017, Youth Focus CEO Fiona Kalaf said today.

“The start of the academic year or a return to work often elevates stress levels in young people who confront issues including bullying, loneliness and peer pressure,” she said.

“And this can be exacerbated in those young people, especially students, who lack the personal resilience to cope with these stressors.

“That is why it is so important that Youth Focus continues to have the professional capacity to meet demand and intervene early to ensure these young people can become resilient adults.”

Ms Kalaf was launching a summer holidays’ awareness and fundraising campaign for Youth Focus called “Shaping brighter futures”.

“This summer we are appealing to the public to make a donation which will help shape a brighter future for young people with mental health issues,’’ Ms Kalaf said.

“Every $3,000 raised will enable a young person to receive the average six months professional counselling that can make a positive difference to their lives.

“Your donations will be invaluable for the thousands of young people who will receive free face-to-face counselling next year and the people who will connect with Youth Focus through school and workplace education sessions.”

Youth Focus is a for-purpose Western Australian organisation that aims to help 12 to 25 year olds with their mental health issues and works to prevent suicide. It has an office in Burswood, Rockingham, Joondalup and Albany as well as being the lead agency for headspace centres in Midland, Geraldton and Albany.

Ms Kalaf said almost 40 per cent of referrals to Youth Focus came through schools with regional schools accounting for 64 per cent of those school referrals.

“Suicide is the leading cause of death for our children under the age of 18 and the leading cause of death for young adults aged 18 to 25,” Ms Kalaf said.

“But our treatment model based on easy accessibility and early intervention unequivocally shows that young lives can be saved.

“In the 22 years since Youth Focus started operations, it has helped shape a brighter future for more than 18,500 young people through their journey to recovery.

“But it is vital that the public continues to support our mission so we can continue to meet demand and support community needs.”

If you would like to donate please visit or text the word ‘SHAPE’ to 0497 222 555.


Media contact: Kaye Hopkins 0448 882 893


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