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Healthy Minds program to support young Australians

Federal Member for Durack and Minister for the Environment Melissa Price said a thousand adolescents across the country will be selected to participate in a trial designed to prevent and reduce the risk of depression, anxiety and eating disorders.

The Federal Government will provide $210,000 to the Healthy Minds Program to trial the mental health and wellbeing project in 10 high schools across the nation.

Schools across the Durack electorate will soon be invited to apply to participate in the trial, which will include eight weekly group sessions delivered by a psychologist to Year 8 students, corresponding classroom lessons, parent modules, and teacher training.

The Healthy Minds Program is an award-winning psychological skills and wellbeing program delivered by accredited and specially trained professionals with the aim of preventing the onset of symptoms of depression and anxiety, while also reducing the risk of eating disorders.

Developed from research conducted in Australia at Flinders University, the program teaches specific skills associated with emotional wellness and resilience.

“We know that around four million Australians experience a mental health condition every year,” said Minister Price.

“People of all ages can be affected – either directly or because someone close to them might be suffering.

“Teenagers are not immune to the pressures of our fast-paced life and the advent of social media has created a new source of stress.

“Indeed, in 2015 it was estimated that approximately 560,000 children and adolescents aged 4-17 years experienced a mental illness,” Minister Price said.

“Giving teenagers skills to manage their mental health will help them better navigate the world now, and into the future.”

The program aims to teach adolescents to become effective self-managers of their wellbeing through helpful thinking, understanding emotions, challenging perfectionism, stress management and self-compassion.

The Healthy Minds Program Trial will help schools to support the well-being and mental health of our kids so they are better able to respond to life challenges and live life to their full potential.

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