Mental health program Live4Life launches in Ballarat
The award-winning Live4Life program will roll out in eight secondary schools across the City of Ballarat in the coming months, focusing on increasing mental health knowledge amongst students, parents, teachers and other community members to reduce barriers for young people seeking help.
The City of Ballarat is working closely with representatives from local youth, school and community agencies as part of the Live4Life Ballarat Partnership Group.
Live4Life, a not-for-profit health promotion charity, is the only mental health education and youth suicide prevention model designed specifically for rural and regional communities.
The program has four key components of delivery:
• Evidence-based mental health education in schools
• Partnership of schools and community organisations
• Mentoring support from Youth Live4Life
• Youth participation and leadership via ‘Youth Crew’
Year eight students at Damascus College, Ballarat & Clarendon College, Ballarat High School, Phoenix Community College, Mt Clear College, Mt Rowan Secondary College, Ballarat Christian College and Woodmans Hill Secondary College will be involved in the 2023 implementation of Ballarat Live4Life.
In 2024, Ballarat Live4Life program will be delivered to Year 8 and 10 students, with the potential to be expanded into more local schools.
City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said the Live4Life initiative was more than just a response to youth mental health within the school environment, it is a whole community approach.
“We want to ensure that young people, teachers, parents and the wider community are better informed about mental health and are proactive in identifying the signs and symptoms of an emerging health issue before a crisis occurs,” he said.
“This course, delivered by locally based trained instructors, is designed to improve the mental health knowledge, skills and attitudes of our community.
“It is about the entire Ballarat community working together to save lives.”
The major sponsors of the activation stage of the Live4Life model are Western Victoria Primary Health Network, the Ballarat and District Suicide Awareness Network and the Ballarat Friends of India.
Delivery of Live4Life Ballarat is being supported by partnering community agencies the City of Ballarat, Ballarat and District Suicide Awareness Network, Ballarat Community Health, Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Education, Department of Education, Wellways, CAFS, Headspace, Victoria Police and The Y Ballarat.
"It is really exciting to be expanding the Live4Life model into Ballarat this year, and to have such great community engagement already is incredibly encouraging,” Youth Live4Life CEO, Bernard Galbally said.
“With 110 adults in the community having already undertaken training in Youth Mental First Aid and 20 community members putting their hands up to be Teen Mental Health First Aid Instructors in the local community, Live4Life in Ballarat is off to a great start.
“The Live4Life model has been proven to create more highly-networked communities, which enhances community resilience during hard times and helps to support young people living in regional and rural communities.”
For more information about the Live4Life program visit www.live4life.org.au.
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