beyondblue commends the Support in tough times: Encouraging young people to seek help for their friends report released by the NSW Mental Health Commission and the NSW Commission for Children and Young People, which outlines the important role friends play in recognising mental health problems in their peers.

The report highlights how friends are often among the first people to notice when their mates are experiencing mental health problems, and showed how schools could play a major part in educating young people on how to be a source of support and how to seek help from adults.

beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman said the research supported the work beyondblue is doing to reach young people and school communities with new resources and initiatives.

“Most young people want to help their friends if they are experiencing a mental health problem, but might not know the best way to do this, so it is very important to put in place the right advice and guidance in schools and at home,” she said.

This research confirms what beyondblue already knows about where young people turn for help and is why beyondblue already has several resouces specifically for young people:  1. Have the conversation 2. Check-in app 3. Youthbeyondblue website www.youthbeyondblue.com 4. New MindMatters online learning modules

beyondblue is currently redeveloping the MindMatters framework, a mental health initiative for Australian secondary schools, with the first three interactive resources already online.

“beyondblue hopes to reach 1500 Australian schools by 2016 with the new MindMatters resources, and also encourages young people to check out our ‘Have the Conversation’ online resources and download the free ‘Check-in’ App aimed at helping young people have conversations with someone they are worried about.

In June, beyondblue launched the free Check-in App, which can be downloaded from the App Store on iTunes or the Google Play store. It allows young people to choose options to construct a unique, step-by- step plan for approaching a friend they are worried about.

The new ‘Have the Conversation’ resources, proudly joint funded by The Movember Foundation and beyondblue, can be accessed via the beyondblue website. It includes handy tips and videos of people talking about how to approach a friend or family member you may be concerned about.

“These resources are aligned with exactly what was highlighted in the research report, helping people know what to say when they know someone who may be struggling,” Ms Harman said.

To read the Support in tough times: Encouraging young people to seek help for their friends report click here or check out more information at www.youthbeyondblue.com

If you’re a young person who needs emotional support, visit our counselling directory to find a therapist near you.