In Focus: Youth Reference Group member, Georgia Anderson

We recently asked Georgia about her involvement with the Youth Reference Group, and loved her responses so much that we just had to share.

Why did you become involved in the Youth Reference Group?

I became involved in the Youth Focus Youth Reference Group because I have a passion for mental health and want to be involved in any way I can to bring awareness to mental illness and break down the stigma surrounding it. A key area I am very passionate about is suicide prevention, and with the Youth Focus aim being to put a stop to youth suicide, I was very eager to be able to work with this organisation and give my input as a youth consumer.

What’s the best thing about being a member of the Youth Reference Group?

What isn’t great about being involved in the Youth Reference Group?! I’ve been a member of the YRG for almost two years now and through this opportunity I have gained leadership skills, confidence, more knowledge of the service and other mental health services, done lots of networking, planned events and so on. But I’d have to say the best thing is being around and having the support of everyone else in the group and Helen the coordinator, they’re such an amazing bunch of people who are so committed, passionate and eager to make a difference for young people out there struggling.

We all bounce ideas off one another and each one of us contributes something different to the group, we work really well together and I feel so privileged to be able to work alongside each and every one of the YRG members and Helen. They never fail to inspire me, I truly think we’ve created a strong group of individuals who have the opportunity and power to make a difference. Some days it feels like we could conquer the world – that’s probably a little far out of reach at the moment, but slowly and surely step-by-step we aim to put an end to youth suicide.

Where do you see Youth Focus in 5 years?

I envisage Youth Focus having the capacity to be able to provide more support to people in rural areas, having more offices around the Perth metropolitan area and a bigger team of staff with the ability to be able to support more young people. I can see them being able to provide workshops to more schools and being more widely known by young people as a caring, trustworthy service that can be accessed in times of struggle. I envisage us having an app with ideas for self-care, crisis resources, mood tracking, the ability to cancel or change an appointment, mindfulness and guided meditation videos and an individually developed crisis plan that can be added to or changed at any time. I also see Youth Focus hosting more events to promote good mental health.

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