Early next year Orange high schools will be invited to pilot a mental health day initiated by their students, thanks to a $10,000 rural funding grant.
Year nine and 10 students from both public and private schools will have the opportunity to attend a youth- forum run by Headspace Orange, following its success in being named as the recipient of the FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation grant.
It’s the youth that need to have the voice to say what is missing out there,Alison Logan
While the forum itself isn’t new, Headspace program manager Alison Logan said the money will allow the youth service to assign a staff member to work with the student councils of participating schools to formulate an initiative which would allow them to use what they learn at the forum to engage the entire school in a discussion on mental health.
Mrs Logan said the initiative could come in many forms, such as a barbecue or a games day, but the most important thing was that it was student driven.
“It’s the youth that need to have the voice to say what is missing out there,” said Mrs Logan.
The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal grants will help 20 communities pilot ideas that were developed at the 20th ABC Heywire Regional Youth Summit in February 2018.
The summit is the culmination of the ABC’s Heywire competition, which invites people aged 16-22 living in regional or rural Australia to share their stories and pitch ideas to generate change in regional communities.
The projects tackle issues ranging from mental health and drug prevention, to youth disengagement and healthy relationships, celebrating Indigenous culture, connecting new Australians to agricultural careers and aligning medical professionals with communities.
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