Youthbeyondblue has a range of free fact sheets available to download from the Youthbeyondblue website.
The fact sheets don’t sugar-coat the issues or contain medical jargon – just plain, easy-to-understand facts about problems people commonly experience as a part of growing up.
Topics range from depression and anxiety disorders (signs, symptoms and available treatment and where to get help) to advice on helping a friend or family member and tips on coping with stress. The fact sheets also look at what happens to depression and anxiety levels when mixed with alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.
There is information on how to keep yourself healthy, for example making sure you exercise and eat well and get a good night’s sleep. There are also tips on how to improve your study habits.
You can also get the facts about the tough stuff like suicide prevention, self-harm, dealing with grief, family break-ups and bullying. There’s even information for parents and carers.
The team at Youthbeyondblue put these fact sheets together by drawing on years of research, expert advice from mental health professionals who work with young people and first hand information.
They also talked to groups of young people about what helped them through their tough times and took their advice on the things they thought would be helpful for others.
Other youth organisations, including headspace, Orygen Youth Health, Reach Out and Mission Australia, were also involved.
Beyondblue’s CEO, Leonie Young, said sometimes when people are going through a hard time or the early stages of anxiety and depression, it can be daunting to take that first step to get help.
“Life can be tough for teenagers and young adults – so we want everyone to know that help is available. Whether it is advice on studying and keeping healthy, or easy-to-understand information about mental health, our Youthbeyondblue fact sheets are a great place to start. If you’re struggling, it’s always a good idea to talk about it with someone you trust, like a parent, teacher, school counsellor, your doctor or a good friend.”
“We realise that sometimes the things that really worry people can be hard to talk about, so a great way to try to overcome problems is to arm yourself – or a friend – with the facts and find out what help is available” she said.
“We invite all young people to take a few minutes to look at the Youthbeyondblue information, because even if you don’t need it yourself, you may know someone who does. Remember to look for the signs of depression and anxiety in your mates, talk about what’s going on, listen to what they’re saying and if you think you need to – seek help together.”
You can order or download any of beyondblue’s youth fact sheets for free, from www.youthbeyondblue.com or you can call the beyondblue information line on 1300 22 4636 (for the cost of a local call from a landline) to have copies sent out to you.