Back to Our Heroes You are reading: Mental Health A Focus For Kalgoorlie’s Young Heroes
15th September 2023 | Read Time: 3 minutes

Mental Health A Focus For Kalgoorlie’s Young Heroes

With mental health issues among young people in the Goldfields on the rise, five West Australian organisations have partnered together to bring a mental health schools roadshow to the Kalgoorlie- Boulder area.

The Goldfield’s Young Heroes Tour will take place from 8 – 12 August, with mental health workshops and presentations being delivered to students in all year groups across the Goldfields area.

The programs will be delivered by zero2hero’s trained facilitators to 12 schools across the region, impacting over 1,600 students, empowering them to connect with themselves and each other to better understand their needs and how to ask for help.

This new partnership is powered by MLG Oz and sponsored by Ali Kent MLA, HOPE Community Services, Headspace and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. With this support, The Goldfield’s Young Heroes Tour will be delivered to schools free of charge.

MLG community engagement officer Michelle Leahy says young people in regional areas deserve access to tools that could help improve their mental health.

“MLG believes the Goldfields is a great place for families to live and equipping our young people with the tools to foster their own mental health is something we believe every child should be offered,” she said.

“MLG is passionate about leading change in everything we do and are proud to bring such a dynamic and worthwhile project to the Goldfields.”

The need for mental health support for young people in regional areas of Australia is critical. ABS statistics from 2020 show that rates of death by suicide are higher in regional Australia; 15.7 deaths per 100,000 outside capital cities, compared with 10.3 deaths per 100,000 in capital cities.

In 2020, there were 223 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia who died by suicide, with the median age being 31.3 years. This is more than a decade younger than the median age of death by suicide for the general population.

In Australia, 75% of mental health problems emerge before the age of 25, therefore it is crucial to educate our youth about how to best support themselves, their peers and community.

zero2hero CEO Ashlee Harrison says that by educating and empowering young people in the Kalgoorlie-Boulder area, mental wellbeing can be improved, and suicide can be prevented.

“We”ve found that while young people have the greatest need for mental health interventions, they are the least likely to seek help. This tour aims to encourage students to feel comfortable in accessing support when they need it,” she said.

“The range of programs that will be delivered to students as part of the tour is a great step towards ensuring young people in the Kalgoorlie area are equipped with the skills necessary to support their own mental health, as well as support others.”

Kalgoorlie MP Ali Kent says she is a passionate advocate of trying to improve access to services for young in the region who may face mental health issues.

“This has been a priority for me from day one. Now young people in the Goldfields will have a chance to access support and I”m confident this tour will give so many young people the tools to help them navigate a difficult space.”