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Kanaplila-ripana dance group members Hayley Ogden, 13, Aayliah Smith, 5, and Taya McDonald, 12, performed at the Yarn Safe program launch.
Kanaplila-ripana dance group members Hayley Ogden, 13, Aayliah Smith, 5, and Taya McDonald, 12, performed at the Yarn Safe program launch.
Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

New initiative encourages young people to open up

By LUCY POSKITT | The Examiner | September 26, 2014

YOUNG Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are being encouraged to talk about their mental health, as part of a new national initiative designed by their peers.

The Yarn Safe program was launched in Launceston’s Brisbane St Mall yesterday by youth counselling service headspace, including a performance by children from the kanaplila-ripana dance group. The program was designed over 12 months by young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders from across the country, to encourage young people aged 12 to 25 to talk about any problems in their lives. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders communities, particularlyin rural and remote Australia, have higher rates of depression, substance abuse, comorbidity and post-traumatic stress disorder, and yet do not access mental health services at a rate that matches that need. Tasmanian headspace manager
Diana Quin said: ‘‘Many young people who experience anxiety and depression have trouble seeking help, and in particular, Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander youth don’t tend to access these services. Visit www.yarnsafe.org.au, or www.headspace.org.au to find your local headspace centre or access help.

Courtesy of The Examiner

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