Authors: Youth Focus Inc
Event: 2009 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: WA
Award level: Finalist
Award category: Non Government Organisation (NGO) Provided Services
Abstract: Youth Focus’s approach to address youth suicide, depression and self harm through prevention and early intervention strategies has been firmly focussed on solution and evidence – based strategies in an attempt to ensure that requests for counselling are provided and successful. Youth Focus provides timely assistance to youth through a range of youth suicide prevention and early intervention services. The roadmap to address the prevention of youth suicide, depression and self-harm comprises: Youth Counselling; Family Counselling; Peer Support Camps and programs; Mentoring; Group Work. The social wellbeing of young people is one of the key societal issues being adressed by Youth Focus. Youth Focus identifies with young people aged 12-18 years who are experiencing early signs associated with suicide, depression and deliberate self-harm including: Social isolation; Disengagement; Poor self-esteem; Unkempt appearance or decline from prior appearance; Emerging signs of depression; Reduction in school performance; Not performing to usual levels; Experienced a significant event including divorce, physical abuse, sexual abuse bullying etc Description of Facility/Organisation: Youth Focus effects significant change with young people aged 12-18 years to ensure physical, social, emotional and mental well-being for young people, families and communities through human and financial investment to address youth suicide, depression and self harm. Youth Focus operates throughout the metropolitan region in Western Australia with permanent counsellors based in four rural/regional locations. Youth Focus: Provides a friendly, confidential and professional service which employs 14 trained counsellors with university qualifications and skills necessary to assist young people in identifying coping strategies for suicide; Provides services through 25 FTE’s and 45 volunteers; Has an operating budget of $3m per annum, 85% of which is through non-government sources, including 40% through fund raising activities, and only 15% through Federal and State Government grants. In 2008, Youth Focus provided mental health counselling services and awareness to: ?? Over 500 youth; ?? 160 families; ?? Over 4,000 school students; ?? Over 20 corporate presentations; And yet, we had to turn away approximately another 200 requests due to a lack of human and financial resources.