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Alcoa and Youth Focus celebrate 10 years together

Alcoa and Youth Focus are celebrating 10 years of partnership that has helped deliver mental health support to nearly 1,000 young people in the south-west of Western Australia.

And the two organisations are not stopping there, announcing a further three-year partnership that will result in Alcoa having provided more than $2.2 million in funding to Youth Focus since 2012.

Ten years ago, Alcoa began its community partnership with Youth Focus, committing to support the young people of Kwinana, Peel and the Upper South West areas of Western Australia with mental health issues.

Despite this work, mental health challenges continue to increase. The Australian Bureau of Statistics Causes of Death 2021 report shows that 47 young people aged between 15 and 24 died from intentional self-harm in Western Australia last year.

Youth Focus CEO Arthur Papakotsias said youth-specific, early intervention mental health services supported by Alcoa were an integral part of improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people in this region.

“Thanks to Alcoa’s financial support, Youth Focus has been able to increase the capacity and resilience of young people in these areas of WA,” Mr Papakotsias said.

“With Alcoa’s support, Youth Focus has been able to deliver evidence-based, youth-friendly, integrated, and effective counselling and mental health services at no cost to the young person or their family.

“Last year alone, Alcoa funded the delivery of counselling services to 90 young people in the Kwinana, Peel and the Upper South West.”

In addition to office-based counselling at Youth Focus’s Peel Health Hub and the Zone Youth Space in Kwinana, Alcoa funds in-reach counselling at some of the region’s secondary schools, as well as school visits and additional support for students.

Alcoa Corporate Affairs Director Jodie Read said the company was proud to support communities near where it operates its bauxite mines and alumina refineries in WA.

“We know mental health challenges are very real and only increasing and therefore are pleased to be able to continue our long-running partnership with Youth Focus to provide real and much needed local support,” Ms Read said.