Professionals in the education, community and health sectors flocked to The University of Queensland on Friday to attend the Brisbane Mental Health and Wellbeing of Young People not-for-profit educational seminar from Generation Next.
The annual circuit visits six states, and for some Brisbane attendees, it was their eighth time attending the seminar, which aims to drive change to boost the mental wellbeing of young people by bringing together Australia’s leading experts in one place.
Dr Gill Hicks spoke of her journey from survivor of the London terrorist Bombings in 2005 to founder of the not-for-profit organisation M.A.D. for Peace. Gill told the Brisbane audience how she used her experiences to positively navigate change, and to also inspire that in others, a message that earned her a standing ovation.
Another key speaker was Kristen Douglas, the head of headspace Schools who focused on the growing issue of anxiety and other emotional issues for young people.
The former primary school principal, in a special interview on the day of the event, told ABC Radio Brisbane’s Rebecca Levingston that relationships – with parents, friends and siblings – was one of the biggest problems for young people, along with rising levels of anxiety, depression and general stress around exams.
“The Millennial generation is feeling more anxious than ever,” she told the audience. She said headspace aims to equip teachers, parents and students with better language and skills around mental health, and to notice and intervene early on noticeable changes in mood an behavior, just as they would with a physical ailment.
One of Kristen’s key takeaways at the Brisbane Mental Health and Wellbeing of Young People 2019 seminar was to arm professionals with tools to do this, such as the ‘NIP It in the Bud’ early intervention strategy which involves noticing changes in mood and behaviour, having the confidence to inquire, and to help plan some appropriate first steps, whether that be a meeting with a parent, some helpful apps, or the provision of a helpline phone number.
The Mental Health and Wellbeing of Young People 2019 seminar series would not be possible without the support of sponsors. According to feedback from the Brisbane exhibition space, the event represented an important opportunity to interact with key audiences, to talk about the needs of those in the coalface, and to help educate about services available in the community to help support young people and those who support them.
Find out more about our upcoming not-for-profit educational seminars here >>