24 year old Emily Kerr has just started her first job after two and a half years on a disability support pension for severe anxiety and depression.
Emily says it was as soon as she started high school that she made the transition from happy kid to troubled teenager. She found it hard to fit in at her all girls’ school, was the target of intense bullying and started skipping school to escape.
Nic Newling is a dedicated advocate for mental health and suicide prevention. He travels around the country speaking about his own experience with a mood disorder and losing his older brother to suicide as a teenager, to change the way mental illness is addressed in schools, workplaces and communities.
Now 28 years old, Nic says he was a very ambitious child. He had decided very early on what his whole future would hold, and set his sights on becoming a veterinarian. But in his first few years of high school Nic says he changed a lot.
A new report released on Wednesday 22 October shows schools can improve the lives of students by recognising the important role of friends in seeking adult help for young people with mental health
The report, Support in tough times: Encouraging young people to seek help for their friends, has been developed by the NSW Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) and the NSW Menta
A whole community nurtured
"It's about giving them a challenge and saying, 'Don't give up'. We need them to believe in themselves."
Margaret Mulcahy, executive principal, Coonamble High School
When Margaret Mulcahy arrived at Coonamble High School at the start of 2013, she was confronted by drains and toilets that were not working, furniture that was scuffed and broken and a library that was under resourced and chaotic.
On track for lifelong wellbeing
"All students living in residence are in some way positively affected by living with others."
Alison Hemsley, student residence manager
Alison Hemsley wants the students who live at Kooloobong Village to aim high, but she doesn’t only mean academically.
Soon to be the largest of the University of Wollongong’s residences, Kooloobong Village is the first in the world to adopt the principles of positive psychology in a student community.
15-year-old Inaara Jindani is doing great things for youth mental health after attending the NSW Youth Week Minding Our Mental Health Forum co-hosted by the Commission in April.
Inaara said she was interested in the Forum as a way to learn more about stigma, meet people and get new perspective on mental illness.
“The Forum was an enlightening experience for me. It was a fulfilling opportunity to hear about people’s experiences with mental illness and how, as youth, we can overcome it.”