Mental health matters this Christmas

19 Dec 2019 | 2 mins

The festive season can be a challenging time for some and the Young Lives Matter Foundation-UWA is encouraging people to support the mentally vulnerable and stay closely connected to family members this Christmas.

Young Lives Matter Foundation-UWA was created to identify risk factors for youth suicide and examine measures to predict those at high risk, well before a crisis occurs.

Foundation Chairman Ronald W. Woss AM, whose daughter took her own life in 1988, said it was important to stay closely attuned to loved ones, especially during the holiday season.

“Christmas is an enjoyable time normally spent with family and friends, but is also recognised as a stressful time for some who may struggle with feelings of loneliness, mental health issues and other problems,” Mr Woss said.

“The young can be particularly vulnerable, and it’s important to ensure that family and friends remain closely connected and aware of possible mental health risks, at this time of year.

“We urge people to spread a message of compassion and make sure we are always aware of and look out for those who may feel neglected, lonely and mentally vulnerable during the holiday season.”

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater said Young Lives Matter Foundation-UWA was making significant progress on ground-breaking research, designed to end the uncertainty of knowing when a vulnerable loved one was most at risk.

“The more we know about what prompts suicidal ideation in our young people, the better we can help to prevent it,” Professor Freshwater said.

“As individuals, we all have the responsibility of doing the best we can to be warmly connected to others and to be compassionate and understanding.”

For more information about the Young Lives Matter Foundation-UWA visit www.uwa.edu.au/Projects/Young-Lives-Matter 

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800, MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

Media references

Meredith Edwards(Young Lives Matter Foundation Media and Communications Adviser) 0408 009 791

Jess Reid (UWA Media Adviser) 08 6488 6876

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