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Funding boost announced for                                     youth mental health program

May 3rd, 2022Funding boost announced for youth mental health program

Macedon Ranges Shire Council is delighted with the announcement by the Federal Coalition Government to fund $871,163 towards the award-winning mental health program Youth Live4Life as part of their National Suicide Prevention and Leadership Support grant programme.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council is delighted with the announcement by the Federal Coalition Government to fund $871,163 towards the award-winning mental health program Youth Live4Life as part of their National Suicide Prevention and Leadership Support grant programme.

The Live4Life model was developed in 2010 by Council as a community-wide response to an increase in youth mental health issues within the shire. High rates of suicide amongst young people, particularly in rural areas, led to the push for more support and education around youth mental health at a local level. The Live4Life program has since been delivered yearly in partnership with five Macedon Ranges secondary schools and four local community organisations and is fully funded by Council. Due to the success of the Macedon Ranges program, in 2015 Youth Live4Life (Inc). was formed to facilitate and govern the expansion of the Live4Life youth suicide prevention and mental health education model beyond just the Macedon Ranges Shire. The program now includes nine rural communities in Victoria and more than twenty other rural communities nationally that have expressed interest in implementing the model. Youth Live4Life Inc. has been instrumental in helping to set up and deliver mental health education to youth and adults across the state and to provide specialised training programs in Youth Mental Health First Aid. It has played a fundamental role in raising awareness about issues surrounding youth mental health, creating local partnerships to lead conversations and reduce the stigma associated with it, and importantly promote young leaders as mental health ambassadors. Macedon Ranges Shire Mayor, Cr Jennifer Anderson said the program has proven to be a great success in raising awareness about youth mental health and suicide prevention thanks to the hard work and commitment over many years of the Live4Life staff and Board, and passionate Shire staff, Councillors and community members. “We are extremely proud of the Live4Life program and the role Council played in its initial implementation. The announcement of additional funding for Youth Live4Life is extremely pleasing as it means the fundamental work the program provides in establishing these communities and educating our young people and their support networks about youth mental health can continue and on a much bigger scale. We’d like to thank the Federal Coalition Government for their contribution to the program in what is a priority area for our community and others alike,” she said. Council has included youth mental health in its Priority Projects 2022 prospectus and is advocating strongly for additional mental health supports for young people to complement the existing supports offered through the Live4Life program in the shire. This includes advocating alongside partners for funding to establish a dedicated youth mental health centre to provide a range of proactive support programs and specialist services in the areas of mental and physical health, work and study support, and alcohol and other drug services.
“Initiatives like this are so incredibly important. If you look after the health and wellbeing of a young person you are looking after the health and wellbeing of the whole community,” she said. For more information about the program visit mrsc.vic.gov.au/live4life Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health.



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