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On Tuesday 30th of October 2012, the Inaugural Youth Mental Health Forum was held in Griffith at the Regional Theatre. The main purpose of the forum was to de-stigmatise mental health.
The day was a success with alot of positive feedback gained, and students taking away a broader outlook on mental health - all thanks to a great team effort by the Steering Committee, and volunteers on the day.
Rising Generations facilitated and ran the day with sensitivity, flexibility and professionalism. The kids loved it; teachers raved about it; service providers were impressed, and students were absolutely engaged in the day.
Guest Speaker, Sarah McFarlane-Eagle, told a humble story about her brother's mental health problems, how she and her family tried to help him, the heart wrenching end for her brother and family, and how she started her Walking Feats to raise awareness of mental illness as a result. The depth and breadth of the topics covered by Sarah was reflected in the thoughtful questions raised by students in the Q&A panel, which was allowed to run on due to the highly engaged students.
The Panel made up of Sarah McFarlane-Eagle, Kylie Hamblin (Headspace), Heidi Burton (CSO), Tiffany Allen (CAMHS) and Hayley Jeffery (DEC) dealth with the questions asked by students sensitvely and comprehensively. This was really appreciated by students, who were so engaged, the questions just kept coming! Rising Generations, ever tuned into the mood of students, allowed the Q&A to run on, and adjusted the program accordingly.
Thanks to CSO, DEC, and Headspace for providing clinicians on the day; the schools for organising their students, and the Service Providers/Steering Committee members and their organisations for making it all possible by sponsoring the day and/or contributing in both big and small ways.
Due to its success, the Inaugural Youth Mental Health Forum will become an annual event held in Griffith, Wagga and Albury regions.