As lockdown progress students fight for better youth mental health

By Samantha Wheeler

Youth are advocating for greater mental health conversations and confidentiality from practitioners.

A Bill written by six young people from Tarneit Senior College is calling to lower the age of mental health confidentiality from 18 to 16 years of age. The Bill aims “to create better conversation and higher trust between young people and mental health practitioners”.

Kushi Parikh, Lorrisjunior Pati, Namagembe Mwakasungura, Hazel Dua, Naufal Juman and Angad Randhawa drafted this Bill for YMCA Victorian Youth Parliament, where they will come together virtually alongside 120 other young people this week.

“The topic of mental health is a recurring issue, during this pandemic, school closures and online school – mental health is a really big thing,” Mr Juman said as lockdown in Victoria persists.

The students hope this Bill will encourage more youth at the age of 16 to seek help without fear of being judged. They want to break the “social stigma” of mental illness and encourage youth especially from minorities and at risk-groups to find it.

This year all debates will be held via a private room meeting, which will be publicly broadcasted for watching and engaging via YouTube live streaming. Debate for this Bill will be held on Wednesday 22nd at 12pm; Links for all scheduled ceremonies and debates can be found within the following:

If you or anyone you know needs help:

●     Lifeline on 13 11 14

●     Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800

●     Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467

●     Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636

●     Headspace on 1800 650 890

●     Qlife on 1800 184 527

●     MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978

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