Improving mental health awareness in youth
October is National Mental Health Month and Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation (AKKF) is supportive of encouraging more open conversations about youth mental health.
AKKF help empower young people from the Canterbury-Bankstown area impacted by mental illness by delivering evidence-based, age-appropriate prevention and early intervention mental health services within a peer-based social and activity-based format.
Using a recent $10,000 Canterbury League Club donation, AKKF ran a series of youth activities where kids and teens aged 8-18 came together to connect with each other in a series of engaging activity days including visiting Sydney Zoo, climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge, and completing outdoor obstacle training courses.
“All participants were excited to climb the bridge! Some were nervous, but all successfully climbed it and were very proud of themselves at the end. The smiles in the photos up the top of the bridge said it all,” said Dan McAloon, Grants Officer at Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation.
All activities were designed to be physically and mentally stimulating, and be a space for children and young adults to connect in a safe and supervised environment. Program facilitators were on hand to help with the activities as well as provide guidance on mental health literacy and address help-seeking behaviors.
“Thanks to our generous supporters, Kookaburra Kids families are able to continue accessing our important services at no individual cost to them,” said McAloon.
“The work that Kookaburra Kids do allows children and young adults to push and challenge themselves in a supported environment – allowing them to build resilience and trust in themselves, which leads to better mental health outcomes,” said Peter Winchester, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.