Leading youth suicide prevention charity, Youth Focus, is seeking mentors to help support young people with mental health challenges on the road to recovery.
Youth Focus Community Engagement General Manager Chris Harris said the organisation’s mentoring program played an important role in supporting young people aged between 12 and 25 who experienced early signs associated with depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidal ideation.
Under the program, mentors are matched with select Youth Focus clients for a year and meet fortnightly to support them through their counselling journey.
“Mentors are important for all of us to share their experiences and teachings, whether in sports or other facets of life. These positive relationships reinforce the value of having guides to help bring the best out in us,” Mr Harris said.
“Our mentoring program has been particularly successful in providing positive relationships and role modelling to young people accessing important counselling sessions through Youth Focus.
“People from all walks of life have been involved in our mentoring program since it began in 2012, giving young people guidance and direction towards a happy future.
“This program is about helping to transition young people in the care of Youth Focus from counselling into a supportive environment with goals and ambitions to improve their lives.”
As well as youth counselling and mentor support, Youth Focus provides suicide prevention education in Western Australian schools. Since 2000, Youth Focus has provided 20,000 free, unlimited counselling services and outreach programs in schools.
Mr Harris said suicide was most preventable cause of death in young people.
“Unacceptably, suicide is the leading cause of death for children aged between five and 17 and young adults aged from 18 to 25,” he said.
Suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians, with statistics showing 54 young people aged between 15 and 24 took their own lives in Western Australia last year.
For every suicide, another 20 people attempt to take their own lives.
Prospective Youth Focus mentors must be at least 21 years of age, be willing to apply for a National Police Clearance, Working With Children Check and First Aid training, as well as a two-day training program about how to be positive role models and education in understanding youth mental health, self-harm and suicide.
Anyone interested in nominating as a Youth Focus mentor can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Youth Focus mentoring program, visit https://youthfocus.com.au/what-we-do/mentoring/
Applications close on June 1.
Nicole Cox – 0419 941 443, email@example.com
Gemma Scheibling – 0434 055 877, firstname.lastname@example.org