Young people and youth organisations from across the Gold Coast have come together to discuss issues affecting them at a wellbeing forum on Friday June 21.
Gold Coast Primary Health Network, headspace Southport and Lives Lived Well, have heard from young people and organisations working with them, to assist in developing a regional plan to support youth wellbeing.
Gold Coast Primary Health Network CEO, Matt Carrodus, said young people have an opportunity to help shape the future.
“We take the voice of youth very seriously and importantly, we want to listen to their concerns,” Mr Carrodus said. “Their ideas will help us to shape development of a mental health and suicide prevention plan for the Gold Coast, with youth wellbeing as a key focus area.”
“This will help guide how services and supports may help improve the lives for this generation.”
The forum has been co-designed by a group of passionate local young people as part of the Y Space project supported by headspace Southport.
Emma 17, a young Gold Coast student and active member of the Y Space project said “Spreading awareness, de-stigmatising and discussing mental wellbeing in safe and inclusive environment is one of Y Space’s key missions. This forum is a really important milestone for us in our mission to improve wellbeing for young people on the Gold Coast.”
Zahra 17, also a young student adds that, “it’s really rare to have an event that brings both young people and service providers into the same room to discuss wellbeing with a particular focus on mental health. We hope this is the first of many forums like this where we look at the challenges facing young people as a whole of community.”
The forum also featured a range of keynote speakers and activities to engage and connect participants.
Myfanwy Pitcher, Manager, Clinical Services, headspace Southport, says the forum provided a platform for youth to be heard.
“Young people have the expert knowledge of their own lives so it’s essential we listen to them – to their fears and concerns, as well as to their hopes and aspirations for their futures,” Ms Pitcher said.
“headspace champions the fundamental right of young people to participate in and inform the decision-making processes of service delivery and evaluation.
“This forum allows us to hear their voice and ensure that programs and services are appropriate, accessible and responsive."