Benalla Rural City - 4 September: Benalla Rural City to come together for youth mental health
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 News>4 September: Benalla Rural City to come together for youth mental health  
4 September: Benalla Rural City to come together for youth mental health  Printer Friendly

Youth mental health will get a high profile in Benalla Rural City from 8-10 September, with a Youth Mental Health Forum on 8 September at BPACC to coincide with the national RUOK Day campaign.

Benalla’s streets will sport yellow and black decorations, the RUOK colours, ahead of the forum, which is expected to attract 120 young people aged 15-16 from across Benalla Rural City.

The forum, with live theatre performances, videos, workshops, and opportunities to connect with services, will raise awareness around mental health issues, improve mental health literacy and encourage help-seeking strategies for young people.

Wodonga’s High Water Theatre will present a play written and performed by young people who have experienced mental health problems.

The newly formed Benalla Youth Action Committee will also show short videos telling stories about young peoples’ experiences with mental illness and providing messages of hope.

Young actors from GRADA will perform some short case studies to service providers who will then give responses which explain some of the ways they might provide assistance.

A local, pocket sized information card about where to seek help will be distributed.

Young people will also be encouraged to submit written questions on the day about specific issues and these will be addressed over the subsequent weeks via the Wots4me? Facebook page.

On Thursday Sept 10, young people from both FCJ and Benalla College will conduct a street BBQ and later in the afternoon, The Trinity Cruisers will perform and students from Benalla Flexible Learning Centre will give away free coffee outside North East Artisans.

Council staff will also show their support by wearing yellow on the day.

“The more we talk about mental health in our community, the more aware we become of how to manage it, and how to seek help,” said Mayor Cr Justin King.

“The people of Benalla Rural City are very concerned about mental health, as we saw in the well supported, community driven ‘Let’s Talk Suicide’ forum held earlier this year.

“This campaign is about being up front about acknowledging that many young people in our community are dealing with mental health issues. It’s also about building a community that understands and supports people with mental health issues.

“There is a perception when someone is suffering from a mental health issue that there are not a lot of resources out there. What we hope is that people will be encouraged by the messages and the information from the forum to reach out when they are not okay, or when someone near to them is struggling.”

This will be a significant gathering of relevant service providers including representatives from Mind Australia, Benalla Health, the Centre Against Violence, Headspace, the Diversity Project, North East Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (NECAMHS), the Australian Community Support Organisation (ACSO), Gateway Health, North East Support and Action for Youth (NESAY), Primary Care Partnership Central Hume and an Aboriginal Community Support Worker.

The events are supported by the Tomorrow Today Foundation, Benalla Rural City Council, Benalla P-12 College, FCJ College, the Benalla Flexible Learning Centre and local business Lionheart. -ENDS-

Image: Clockwise from left: Lauren Lucas, John Guppy, Gracie Davon and Hannah Humphries

young people at the mural

Benalla Rural Council
  Benalla Rural Council

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