- What’s going on with our teens?by Courtney Hahipene
Let’s discuss Mental Health. Why we are losing our teens and what we can do about it?
This story is written by yoga teacher and founder of Perth wellness business ‘In School Yoga’
Mental health is something we are all familiar with. Well, if you weren’t 5 years ago, you are now. To have good mental health perhaps isn’t talked about as often in a sentence as someone who has poor mental health. To be clear, mental health is the state of someone’s mind set, it’s neither good nor bad. For so long now we as a culture have discussed healthy food and exercise to keep the body physically healthy, but why is it only recently that we seem to be addressing the health of our mind?
So let’s address poor mental health. Many young Australians are suffering from depression, anxiety and stress. Statistics reveal that suicide is the leading cause of death among young Australians. According to a Health Direct survey, for every youth suicide there are 100-200 more attempts. As a mother of young boys these facts are horrifying.
Mental illness or poor mental health is one of the main risk factors, so how can we put a stop to this?
Well, let’s begin by talking about it – by dropping the shame and the negative association around the topic. Here in Perth, Western Australia, in-school programs are catching on like wild fire to help support and nurture our youth.
Mindfulness programs such as In School Yoga, Zero2Hero, Good Blokes Co. and The Rites of Passage Institute are just some of the teams doing amazing work to take action. Giving teenagers tools to open up, discuss and understand themselves a little more. They’re bringing awareness, holding space for vulnerable conversations and helping to change the culture both within schools and in our communities to a more inclusive, respectful and compassionate environment.
These programs all differ in what they deliver but share a common motivation which is to support our youth.
Yoga is a safe and potentially effective therapy for teens
Rites of Passage Programs are helping our youth to navigate their journey from:
- Boys towards young men
- Girls towards young women
- Kids towards young adults
A great resource is Dr. Arne Rubenstein’s book ‘The Making of Men’. It’s an encouraging guide for parents as they too navigate and help support their children on this journey.
Based in Byron Bay, Arne currently holds leadership trainings country wide helping to build awareness and community. He is the man behind the Rites of Passage Program at Christ Church Grammar here in Perth who are leading the way, going above and beyond to ‘build good men’.
Along with Good Blokes Co based here in Western Australia and Zero2Hero we are seeing Father/Son Camps, Mother/Son camps and workshops helping us to support and understand our kids and to nurture them as much as we possibly can.
With the pandemic and climate change we are seeing many shifts. There is a lot of change all around us. Now, more than ever, we need to recognize the importance of this work, of coming together to nurture and supportm and to listen to each other with greater empathy and kindness.
If you need more information on anything mentioned in this blog post, please see the links below.