On Friday 30 May, NSW Mental Health Commissioner, John Feneley addressed teachers, nurses, social workers, police and mental health professionals as he officially opened the Sydney Generation Next seminar.
Held at the Sydney Town Hall, the Generation Next seminar saw more than 1000 professionals from across multiple disciplines come together to learn how to support the mental health of young people in today’s changing social landscape.
Commissioner Feneley spoke about the role of mental health in contributing to young people’s ability to find satisfying social identities and the importance of developing positive relationships with those in their support networks.
“The prevalence of mental ill health in children and young people and the resounding impact it has on their capacity to live contributing lives is why we must foster and support resilience in people when they are young.”
“A mental health problem or disorder can disrupt or seriously impede their social development, education, family relationships and vocational path. This is a critical time for young people who are still developing socially, emotionally and physically.
Commissioner Feneley said the wellbeing of young people relies on a wide range of factors and a holistic, whole of community approach, “Our young people need a safe and stable home, genuine opportunities for education and training, and positive social connections,”
“Their wellbeing requires the recognition that the responsibility for mental health goes beyond health service providers. Young people’s mental health and wellbeing must be part of the agenda for not only health services, but also schools, and workplaces, justice, and drug and alcohol services.”
The seminar was one of eight being held across Australia and New Zealand to educate on current social trends and issues which affect the wellbeing of young people. For more information, see www.generationnext.com.au
– The Mental Health Commission of New South Wales