I am undertaking this year’s Hawaiian Rice for Youth (HR4Y) with great anticipation that our collective efforts raising awareness will give strength to young people uncertain about their way in the world; strength to speak up and seek support from their friends and professionals such as the Youth Focus team.
In WA, there is an unacceptable rate of depression and suicide particularly with rural and remote youth. These are significant burdens of disease that can limit people from leading full and enjoyable lives if not noticed, diagnosed and effective treatment delivered.
We need to open up conversations with knowledge, language and compassion across the community to help stem this and give young people support to manage their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Youth Focus has support networks in many regional centres. However, the demand for services is increasing. The funds raised through the Hawaiian Ride for Youth will help provide support networks through Youth Focus - an amazing "for-purpose" organisation.
This will be my fifth HR4Y and most likely my last. Thank you to my supporters and my family. We are very fortunate to have one family member speak up before it was too late. Now open dialogue on mental health is a central aspect of support for all.
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