Helping teens to cope

Published on 28 July 2017

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The MidCoast Council Resilience Resources are a collection of engaging materials that spread positive messages to young people around coping with stress, bullying and building resilience. The resources were officially launched at Gloucester High School during some lunch time activities on Wednesday 26 July, with the resources continuing to be rolled out to High Schools in the MidCoast Council region over the coming weeks.

Comprising quick tips, online resources and professional contacts, the resources aim to empower the younger generation on how to successfully deal with their adversities and build resilience to promote positive mental wellbeing.

Russell Ingram, MidCoast Council’s Community Strengthening Officer - Youth says “The community involvement when creating the project was fantastic, we had a diverse group of young people heavily involved with providing feedback about the designs and materials.  We also had the support of a talented Local Forster artist, Sam Milham, who was contracted to create a series of designs that spread the key messages to young people in a culturally relevant form”. The designs will be made into stickers for youth to use to remind them of simple coping skills for when they might be feeling overwhelmed or bullied. The online resources include backgrounds to the messages and links to further support for youth to access.

Sam Milham the local designer was excited to be a part of such a fantastic initiative. “Being a local designer, I jumped at the chance to get on board for Midcoast Council's mental health youth campaign to provide a fresh approach at tackling issues they face daily. It was great to be a part of the process of creating a range of stickers and assets for posters in a comical and easily accessible manner, with which to supply access to vital info and resources in regard to mental health. The style was inspired by the great work of past artists such as Reg Mombassa coupled with the surfy laid back style associated with the region. I've heard the stickers are getting a great reception and I look forward to seeing the full effects of the campaign across the region.”

Mental illness in teenagers is a growing concern. In the 2016 Mission Australia Annual Youth Survey, mental health was listed in the top 3 national concerns for young people and coping with stress topped the list of personal concerns. More education and community support on how to effectively deal with these issues is needed and community resources like these are extremely beneficial for teens.

Young people face more challenges today than ever before, not only dealing with schoolyard bullies, but also through social media and other online channels, which are prime tools for bullying.  It is vitally important for young people to be educated on external influences and how to deal with these issues effectively. This project is a fantastic opportunity to come together as a community and to provide valuable resources for teens in order for them to successfully deal with stress management, bullying and building resilience.

Head to midcoast.nsw.gov.au/youth to find out more about the resources.