SHOW SUPPORT: Father Chris Riley says the journey to positive mental health is not a journey we should walk alone.
SHOW SUPPORT: Father Chris Riley says the journey to positive mental health is not a journey we should walk alone. John Gass

OPINION: Think about mental health, well-being

WORLD Mental Health Day is held on October 10 and I encourage everyone - whether you have a lived experience of mental illness or not - to think about mental health and well-being of yourself and those around you.

The journey to positive mental health is not a journey we should walk alone. I have been working with disadvantaged young people for over 40 years and each person I work with has their own unique story and journey to share. I encourage them to connect with trusted family and friends to share their journey towards better mental health, and I am asking you to do the same.

Mental health issues affect everyone. Whether or not you yourself are experiencing mental illness there is always someone around you who is. As a community we need to look out for each other and that begins with talking. From my experience on dealing with mental health I know that starting a conversation can be the biggest turning point for vulnerable young people.

At Youth Off The Streets, we have dedicated youth and case workers who assist young people on a daily basis. The unfortunate truth is that 14% of Australian young people aged 4 to 17 have mental health or behavioural problems and it is imperative for us to step in and support our vulnerable kids at this time of crucial growth. Taking the time to discuss these issues, how they are affecting you and how you are overcoming them can set the path for not only your growth, but for others to follow in the journey of self-care.

This World Mental Health Day, I urge you to support each other and in particular support our young people in starting conversations. Please visit www.1010.org.au/ for more information.

Father Chris Riley,

CEO and Founder of Youth Off The Streets



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