07/06/2013 - 12:06

Focus on youth at risk

07/06/2013 - 12:06


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Focus on youth at risk
PARTNERSHIP: Youth Focus CEO Jenny Allen (left) with Black Dog institute executive director Helen Christensen

PERTH-BASED Youth Focus has signed a partnership agreement with NSW organisation Black Dog Institute.

An independent not-for-profit group, Youth Focus provides a team of psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists who provide free early intervention and prevention services for those at risk of suicide, depression and self-harm.

CEO Jenny Allen said the new partnership with Black Dog would allow the two organisations to improve the mental health care provided to young people in Western Australia.

"Youth Focus provides care to thousands of young people every year but we know there are thousands of others who won't, or can't seek help," she said.

"To help address this we are partnering with the Black Dog Institute to develop and deliver programs that are not only designed specifically for young people in need, but are provided in a way that makes them relevant and accessible."

Black Dog Institute is a government-funded organisation that focuses on researching new diagnostic, intervention and treatment strategies for mental health issues.

Black Dog partners with universities, health services and community groups across the country.

Executive director Helen Christensen said Black Dog would be providing Youth Focus with its community based and digital school education programs.

"While many of our education programs are delivered in a traditional face-to-face setting, we are increasingly using the internet and other technologies to enable people to access treatment where and when it is suitable for them," Professor Christensen said.

These programs include myCompass, a self-directed management program for stress-related concerns, and Living with Deadly Thoughts, the world's first internet-based program designed to target suicidal thinking.


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