AYAC recognises that good mental health is a whole-of-community responsibility, and people with mental illness and their families and carers are to be supported to live full and rewarding lives. The current mainstream mental health system is not well-designed or resourced to address young people’s mental health issues. Young people in rural areas, in particular, have difficulties in accessing appropriate services, with many services stretched to capacity (if there are any youth-friendly services at all).

AYAC believes that…

  • Policy makers need to listen to the perspectives of young people in designing and planning the delivery of mental health services.
  • Family and community support and adequate economic and social resources – such as education, paid employment and secure housing – play a powerful protective role in relation to mental health.
  • Detecting and treating mental health problems at the earliest possible stages is the best way of minimising the impact of mental illness on a young person’s life and provides the best chance of improving their mental health outcomes.

Read the continued document in PDF (2.4 mb)