Federal Environment Minister and Member for Flinders Greg Hunt has made a bold move to become a patron for the Ties For Lives foundation.
Ties for Lives provides support to young people in the community by identifying the early signs of depression and anxiety.
Mr Hunt said he was happy to support such a valuable initiative.
“As a Patron, I have committed to be an advocate on a local and national level for the important work the foundation carries out,” he said.
Ties for Lives raises awareness of youth mental health issues through its evidence based SPOTa program, which helps young people and their families Spot the early signs of depression and anxiety and assists people to get help.
Ties for Lives founder David L Wright said mental health issues affected a large number of young people in the community.
“It is widely reported that around 50 per cent of all mental health issues show up before the age of 14 and 75 per cent before the age of 25,” he said.
“If we can make friends, family and the community aware of how they can spot early signs this will assist significantly with treatment and social recovery.”
According to the World Health Organisation, at least 350 million people live with depression. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is treatable, but most people with depression do not receive the care and support they need.*
A survey released recently by Communities That Care shows that around 30 per cent of Year 9 students have depressive symptoms.
The SPOTa program includes mental health education for sports clubs, schools and community groups. It provides information cards, action plans and public awareness campaigns to alert people to the early signs of youth mental illness. The SPOTa program’ highlights the important issues related to Social isolation, Physical health, Obvious changes in mood, Tough times and how to Assist.
“I encourage people to help improve youth mental health by making a donation to Ties for Lives or by getting involved in their local community initiatives,” Mr Hunt said.
To support the SPOTa program, public donations can be made through www.SPOTa.org.au
*World Health Organisation 2012 – Depression, A Hidden Burden.
*Communities That Care ® Healthy Neighbours Schools Survey – Mornington Peninsula Shire 2012.
For local community initiatives, sponsorship, funding and media enquiries, contact David L Wright, CEO and Founder [email protected] Mobile: 0418 105 019