Youth Focus supported a record number of young people in Western Australia last financial year, reaching almost 12,000 youths through free counselling and education programs.
New statistics show the leading youth mental health provider supported 6,090 young people via its counselling and assessment services in the 2019/2020 financial year – an increase of 34 per cent from the previous year when 4,559 clients were helped.
In addition, 5,773 people participated in school and community education programs last financial year, including Year 9 students, parents and teachers at 37 schools.
Youth Focus Acting Chief Executive Officer Raj Thethy said the organisation’s counselling, web-counselling, outreach and community education services were greatly appreciated by communities across the vast state.
“Never before has access to mental health support been so important for young Western Australians,” Mr Thethy said.
“Through our free, uncapped professional counselling service, school-based mental health workshops and outreach support, we are reaching more young people than ever before.
“This year was especially challenging as the community worked through the coronavirus pandemic and staged restrictions, which impacted on our ability to further extend our school education program.
“Nevertheless, we successfully transitioned from in-person counselling to technology-based services so we could continue to provide care for our clients and ensure they had access to mental health support when it was most needed.
“We are extremely proud to be at the forefront of youth mental health in WA and are committed to making real differences to the lives of more young people as we move to further diversify our service offerings in coming months.”
Latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show suicide remains the leading cause of death for young Western Australians, with 49 young Western Australians aged between 15 and 24 dying by suicide in 2018.
If you or someone you know needs urgent support please contact the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Nicole Cox – 0419 941 443