WayAhead welcomes today’s announcement of a further $100 million being injected into youth mental health initiatives made by Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.
The announced funded initiatives include a range of new early intervention Headspace centres to be opened, an integrated school-based Mental Health in Education program and other supports which will help communities support the wellbeing and mental health of Australian children.
“Today’s announcement really highlights the government’s commitment to helping young Australians who are seeking help for depression and anxiety and for that they should be commended,” said WayAhead Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Priestley.
Ms Priestley said that it was incredibly important for parents and teachers to be equipped with the skills needed to detect the first warning signs a child maybe developing anxiety and depression.
“We know from our own work throughout New South Wales working with schools, teachers and parents that by providing them with mental health education, it greatly helps children who have anxiety manage their mental health and get on the path to recovery,’’ said Ms Priestley.
WayAhead runs its Small Steps program which works with primary school staff and parents to educate them on how to identify anxiety and best support their students.
“Our small steps program helps parents and teachers throughout NSW understand the signs and symptoms of anxiety, the different types of anxiety disorders and how they present, evidence based treatments for anxiety disorders, referral and treatment option and we provide information packs which include strategies on how to assist children with anxiety,” said Ms Priestley.
Last year WayAhead ran 120 Small Steps anxiety awareness seminars in primary schools throughout the state. More information about Small Steps can be found on the WayAhead website – http://understandinganxiety.wayahead.org.au/education/primary-school-seminars/.