Working at headspace as an access, intake and community engagement officer, Laura hears first hand what our young people are facing. “ This year, we are seeing a marked rise in anxiety and school disengagement with young people reporting feeling anxious, unsupported, or disconnected at/with school. Unfortunately for many this also means isolation from their social circles resulting in, low moods and motivation, unemployment and further mental health challenges.
“ I was kicked out of home and my parents were well… not great!”.
Laura also says that young people identifying as LGBTQIA+ were recently asked to share their experiences with headspace Maroochydore, commenting that the SHOUT group at headspace is one of the only spaces they feel safe to be themselves. At school they face an increase of bullying and family have disowned or disrespected them after coming out.
“ At my old school, I was pushed into walls, called names, mis-gendered and dead-named by teachers”.
“Also the housing crisis situation on the Sunshine Coast during the Covid-19 pandemic, has had a profound impact on the mental health of young people, who report heightened anxiety about living arrangements, lockdowns forcing loss of work/shifts and the uncertainty around travel and seeing family members. For many school leavers the excitement of entering adulthood is tainted by COVID restrictions, rites of passage and milestones are not being met for many, such as having a formal or graduation, schoolies, travelling abroad or backpacking, celebrating 18ths or 21st.
“For those seeking mental health support, they face long wait times and unavailability in both private and public services, including headspace. I’ve lost count of the number of parents who call the intake team the morning after they have tried to take their suicidal teenagers to the hospital just to be sent home.”