Last month over three hundred and fifty students from sixteen schools around the West Moreton region, participated in the third annual Talkin' It Up!, the Ipswich Hospital Foundation's Regional Youth Mental Health Forum.
Sponsored by the IHF and led by West Moreton Health, the day consisted of several workshops, group activities and presentations with our LIVIN Co-Founders Sam Webb and Casey Lyons delivering a keynote presentation and participating in various workshops with the students. Caron Cahill is a mental health nurse at West Moreton Health, organised the event in effort to give youth an understanding that they can speak up if they are struggling and equipping them with the tools to do so.
"Talkin' it Up! is all about empowering young people and letting them know it is OK to speak about mental health and mental illness," Ms Cahill explained in an interview with The Queensland Times."Typically, if young people are struggling they are most likely to ask for support from another young person. That is why it is so important that young people are aware of what support services exist so they are able to point their peers in the direction of help when they need it."
The Forum was held at the Ipswich Campus of the University of Southern Queensland and supported by the university in addition to the Ipswich City Council, headspace Ipswich, the Department of Education, BUSY At Work, Ipswich Community Youth Service and LIVIN and has been commended by the local community as having a positive impact to those students who had the opportunity to attend. "It was humbling to be able to give back to these young people what we weren't lucky enough to have growing up." Said Sam Webb who along with Casey Lyons, were fortunate enough to have time speaking and interacting with the students in smaller activity groups throughout the day.
Every year the forum is growing stronger in strength both in the size of numbers of students who are attending and the amount of accessibility the students have to content and organisations in the mental health space.
The Youth Mental Health Forum has proven to be an important platform for local students and giving them the knowledge on how to start conversations about their own mental health.
Congratulations to all of the organisers and organisations who worked together to arrange this event and we are looking forward to continuing to Talk It Up in the years to come.