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Youth Focus continues to support young Western Australians

It’s been a progressive year for Youth Focus, with 2021/22 focused on building strong foundations for a positive future for the organisation and importantly, for WA’s young people.

According to our Annual Report for 2021/22, Youth Focus supported 3,577 young people through 32,953 occasions of service from nine offices across Western Australia, four headspace centres and several outreach locations.

Youth Focus clients present with a range of complex issues including anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, self-harm and family conflict. The clinical results have been overwhelmingly positive, with many clients reporting an improvement in their psychological wellbeing and positive experience of the service.

As a leading provider of youth mental health services in Western Australia with a proud 28-year history, we are committed to supporting young people to lead full and healthy lives, and to building mental health literacy in our community.

Rose’s story

“I wouldn’t be where I am now without the help that Youth Focus offered. I still have my moments, but now I can overcome them. I am more confident in my ability to reach out to other people and in my ability to handle my own emotions.

“If I hadn’t found Youth Focus, then I would be in a very dark place. Youth Focus has helped me overcome my anxiety and self-esteem issues. It helped me find healing.”

Commitment to reconciliation

At Youth Focus, we are wholeheartedly committed to reconciliation and to building meaningful partnerships with Aboriginal people, to make a positive impact on the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In 2021/22, we continued to focus on reconciliation and the delivery of culturally safe services to young people from diverse backgrounds, cultures and life experiences. We delved deeply into our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan, launched in May 2021. We’re excited to now enter the planning phase to develop and implement an Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan.

CEO farewell

After almost four years as Chief Executive Officer, Arthur Papakotsias tendered his resignation in September 2022.

Mr Papakotsias was appointed CEO of Youth Focus in January 2019 and over the past three and a half years has led the organisation through positive change and transformation to build strong foundations for years to come.

Mr Papakotsias says that he is pleased to leave Youth Focus in a solid position, with an outstanding team, improved service and program models and a revitalised financial position.

“Moreover, I’m pleased that the crucial youth mental health services of Youth Focus and its headspace centres continue to deliver quality and safe outcomes for young people.”

Youth Focus Chair Dean Hely commented: “The board would like to thank Arthur for his hard work and passion for Youth Focus over the last four years. Arthur has seen the organisation through the challenging COVID years and ensured the organisation is in a financially sound and resilient position. Arthur deserves a well-earned break and we wish him all the best for his future endeavours.”

The board is currently in the process of recruiting to fill the CEO position and we look forward to welcoming a new CEO to lead us in the next phase of our journey.

Community support

Youth Focus continued to see strong support from the community, with an incredible record-breaking fundraising result in the 20th Hawaiian Ride for Youth as well as other fundraising initiatives such as Walk for Me, resulting in a $983,649 surplus.

Read the full Annual Report 2021/22 here.