Young Men’s Project workshop this weekend

Sound Telegraph
Youth Focus is calling for 50 young men between the ages of 18 and 25 to volunteer their time for a large-scale community forum that aims to create real solutions to prevent suicide amongst males.
Camera IconYouth Focus is calling for 50 young men between the ages of 18 and 25 to volunteer their time for a large-scale community forum that aims to create real solutions to prevent suicide amongst males. Credit: Supplied.

Mental health service provider Youth Focus is putting the call out for young men in the community to take part in a workshop this weekend.

Suicide kills more young men in Australia than anything else, with the workshop aimed at getting this age group together to provide a forum for participants to express their ideas surrounding suicide and mental health.

Youth Focus is calling for 50 young men between the ages of 18 and 25 to volunteer their time for the large-scale community forum that aims to create real solutions to prevent suicide amongst males.

Youth Focus has partnered with Alcoa of Australia to stage the Kwinana forum, which will be held this Saturday, November 24 at the Darius Wells Resource Centre from 10am to 4pm. Each participant will be paid $100 to be involved in the day.

Perth woman Lisa Dowie, whose 18-year-old son Keegan McAlpine died by suicide in 2015, will share her deeply personal story at the event. Wildcats star Greg Hire, who runs charity A Stitch in Time to encourage resilience in young people through sport, mentoring and community workshops, will also attend.

Youth Focus Community Engagement General Manager Chris Harris said the Young Men’s Project was established in 2013 to inspire young males to work together on insightful and effective suicide prevention concepts.

“We need to arrest these statistics by ensuring young men feel comfortable and confident to start conversations about mental health with their mates,” Mr Harris said.

“The Young Men’s Project is about creating a space where we can work collaboratively on new and innovative strategies to help shift the way young men think about mental health issues and reduce the unacceptable toll of suicide.

“Many of these ideas aren’t expensive, technology based or time consuming. They can be the simplest of acts, like a community dinner, a community chat or any conduit that allows young men to let those closest know they may be doing it tough.”

Suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians, with latest statistics showing 51 young people aged between 15 and 24 took their own lives in WA in 2017. For every suicide, another 20 people attempt to take their own lives.

In addition, one in four young Australians live with a mental health condition, with 75 per cent of mental illnesses first appearing in people under the age of 25.

Alcoa of Australia Chairman and Managing Director Michael Parker said the company was proud to support the delivery of both the Mandurah Young Men’s Project earlier this year and now the Kwinana event.

The first Young Men’s Project was held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre in 2015 and subsequent events have been held in Narrogin, Ellenbrook and Mandurah.

To register to take part in the Kwinana Young Men’s Project, visit https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/young-mens-project-workshop-kwinana-tickets-51132406404

If you or someone you know needs urgent support please contact the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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