April 04, 2018

Peel workshop to help turn the tide on male suicide


Youth Focus is seeking more than 50 young men from the Peel region to join its fight against suicide by taking part in new workshop to find ways to overcome the unacceptably high toll.

Young Men's Project workshop poster
The Young Men's Project workshop is on Saturday 21 April 2018.

The Young Men’s Project is a large-scale community forum where men aged between 18 and 25 work together to create real solutions to the growing number of Australian males taking their own lives.

Concerned by the number of men killing themselves, Youth Focus established the Young Men’s Project in 2013 to encourage young males to work together on insightful and effective suicide prevention concepts.

Youth Focus has partnered with Alcoa of Australia to stage the Peel forum, which will be held on Saturday, April 21 at Bendigo Bank Stadium, Mandurah from 10am to 4pm. Each participant will be paid $100 to be involved in the day.

Young men from across the Peel region will collaborate on ideas, projects and events designed to make it easier for their peer group to seek help and shift the way they think about mental health issues.

Youth Focus Community Engagement General Manager Chris Harris said the Young Men’s Project took an innovative and practical approach to reduce suicide by inspiring young men and their mates to help each other.

"We know young men in Australia are three times more likely to take their own lives than young women," Mr Harris said. "That is why we need to help them feel comfortable and confident to start conversations about mental health with their mates.

"The Young Men’s Project is about creating a space where young men can openly discuss and prototype mental health strategies relevant to their own communities.

"This is about young men coming up with solutions. Most of the time, these ideas aren’t expensive, technology based or time consuming. They can be the simplest of acts, like a community dinner, a community chat or any conduit that allows young men to let those closest know they may be doing it tough.

Alcoa of Australia Chairman and Managing Director Michael Parker said the Youth Focus partnership and project was important to build confidence and resilience in young people in the Peel region.

"The Young Men’s Program is a powerful way to raise vital awareness about youth mental health and inspire young people to confidently start conversations to find real ways to help themselves and their friends," Mr Parker said.

Latest statistics show 54 young people aged between 15 and 24 took their own lives in Western Australia in 2016. For every suicide, another 20 people attempt to take their own lives.

The first Young Men’s Project was held at the Perth Convention Centre in 2015 and subsequent events have been held in Narrogin and Ellenbrook.

To register to take part in the Mandurah Young Men’s Project on April 21, visit:
https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/the-young-mens-project-workshop-tickets-44134269789

If you or someone you know needs urgent support please contact the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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Media contact: Nicole Cox, Youth Focus, 0419 941 443 or nicole.cox@youthfocus.com.au


About Youth Focus:
Youth Focus is an independent Western Australian not-for-profit working to reduce youth suicide. Through free, unlimited face-to-face individual counselling sessions and other valuable mental health services, Youth Focus works with young people aged from 12 to 25 helping them to overcome issues associated with depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidal ideation.

Alcoa and Youth Focus: Since 2011, Alcoa of Australia has partnered with Youth Focus to proactively prevent youth suicide and depression in the Peel region by offering a variety of free, unlimited and expert early intervention and preventative services. Services are provided for people aged 12 to 25 years.