International Youth Day 2018

International Youth Day 2018

International Youth Day, on the 12th of August, is a day aimed at raising awareness and drawing attention towards the different set of issues surrounding youth. This initiative also celebrates the achievements of our youth in their efforts to overcome the challenges faced in today's society. 

One of the struggles youth face is the increasing number of mental illness cases. Compared to any other age group, Australian youth experience the highest prevalence of mental illness. Additionally, a recent study in 2014 showed that approximately one in five (21.2%) of young Australians (15-19 years old) met the criteria for a probable serious mental illness (Black Dog Institute). 

This year's International Youth Day theme is "safe spaces for youth", exploring the need for safe spaces where youth can come together, discuss, and express themselves freely. 

This theme highlights the importance of a safe environment for our youth, with the raising number of mental illness in this age group, it is important that we create a safe environment for youth to feel open about sharing their challenges without feeling stigmatised and fearful. 

So how can we create a safe environment and provide support for youth struggling with mental illnesses?

  • Listen to the words they are saying and how they are feeling without judgment
  • Listen without preparing a reply – it’s ok to say you need a moment to think about what they’ve said before responding
  • Acknowledge and validate what they are feeling – it’s about how they are feeling and not about what they say makes you feel
  • Don’t offer solutions, instead offer support – ask how can I support you with this?

For more information surrounding young  people and mental health, view our previous article here: