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National Headspace day

National Headspace day

Hightened mental health problems for young people in 2020

A part of National Headspace Day today [21.10], it's revealed young Australians are facing significant mental health problems this year.

One third of young Aussies are reporting high or very high levels of psychological distress with young women the most-impacted.

CEO of Headspace Jason Trethown, said, young people were already facing a number of challenges following drought, bushfires and floods, and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Mr Trethowan, says, “What’s highly concerning is that one third of young Aussies are already reporting high or very high levels of psychological distress, treble what they were in 2007, but we’re also seeing the impacts of a really challenging year affecting their sense of general wellbeing.”

“Young people are telling us COVID-19 has impacted their lives significantly. They’ve missed out on many of the usual social connections and school milestones this year– and this comes on top of some of the worst natural disasters our country has faced including drought, floods and the bushfire crisis.”

“We’ve seen a drop in their ability to manage their daily activities at school, home and work and that’s affecting their sense of wellbeing, their relationships and how they cope.”

“We know there’s a direct correlation between decline in functioning over a sustained period and bigger mental health challenges, so it’s crucial we help them get on top of things now”.

“That’s why we’re using headspace Day this year to encourage all young people to think about the small steps they can take – every day – to build in some strategies to support wellbeing,” says Mr Trethowan.

“It’s a crucial part of managing mental health – whether its 15 seconds or 5 minutes, make it a habit and create some time and space to focus on the everyday things that make you smile or simply slow down and breathe a little easier.”

Emma, a member of the headspace National Youth Reference Group member shares the small steps she does every day to get through tough times, “Something I try and do every day for my mental health is putting some time aside to exercise, that might be yoga, a full work out, or even a short walk. Giving myself this time and doing something I love has been really helpful for me”.

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