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Youth Mental Health Ambassadors start important work

The Morrison Government has welcomed the first gathering of Australia’s new Youth Mental Health Ambassadors, who will meet on Thursday, 21 February, at headspace National in Melbourne.

These 14 young men and women are a key part of our Government’s commitment to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young Australians.

At a special forum I convened in Perth last month on youth suicide, I announced the Youth Mental Health Ambassadors program would be expanded to ensure it includes Indigenous representatives, with two Ambassadors from the Kimberley region.

I’m proud to see the group is now holding its first meeting as members start their important work to destigmatise mental health issues and promote mental health literacy and awareness.

My personal message for the ambassadors today is to thank you for your commitment to improving the mental health of young Australians through participating in this important initiative.

Sharing personal experiences is a powerful way to encourage others to seek help and I support and encourage you on your own journeys and through this program.

The 14 Ambassadors are drawn from across Australia and have a diverse range of backgrounds. Aged between 18 and 25, all have personal experience of mental health challenges. This personal experience will help them effectively reach out and lead on the important national issue of youth mental health.

headspace is chairing the Young Ambassadors for Mental Health program in partnership with Orygen, ReachOut, SANE, Mind Australia, Black Dog Institute, Beyond Blue, the Butterfly Foundation, Batyr and the Consumers Health Forum of Australia.

The Morrison Government is investing $2.76 million in the program over four years, which includes additional funding of $360,000 to allow a specific focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, including supporting two additional young people to participate in the Young Ambassadors for Mental health Program.

I am deeply committed to this issue and to supporting and working together with our young people, Elders, families and communities to ensure our youth have the support and services they need for good mental health and wellbeing.