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Providing support to the most vulnerable

The role of a Youth Mental Health Worker

Adolescence is a unique time of growth mentally and emotionally as well as physically. However, it is an unfortunate statistic that an estimated 10-20% of adolescents will experience mental health conditions that can affect their lives into adulthood.

Youth Mental Health Services in Australia are tackling the increasing problem of youth mental health via preventative measures as well as recognised treatments. Youth Mental Health Workers play a vital role in the lives of young people who are experiencing some common issues:

  •  Emotional disorders can include excessive irritability, frustration, anger, anxiety, and depression. 
  • Childhood behavioural disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder.
  • Eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.
  • Psychosis may include hallucinations or delusions.
  • Risk-taking behaviours for health, such as substance use or sexual risk-taking.

Why do we need Youth Mental Health Workers?

The ultimate aim of a Youth Mental Health Worker is two-fold: To give the young person a better pathway into adulthood, and to prevent youth suicide.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death in older adolescents (15-19 years). Risk factors for suicide can stem from any of the above issues, and in today’s modern world, digital and social media is also a concern for this age group. 

Promoting psychological well-being and protecting youth from negative experiences are critical for their well-being during adolescence, including preventing suicide, and for their physical and mental health in adulthood.

What does a Youth Mental Health Worker do?

Youth Mental Health Workers are responsible for providing support and services to young people who are struggling. This may include counselling, referrals to treatment, accessing respite care or rehabilitation, and support for families dealing with mental health issues. 

Their work is critical in the lives of adolescents who are suffering from mental health. A Youth Mental Health Worker may work in a variety of settings including clinics, home-based outreach, or within government or not-for-profit organisations. 

A Youth Mental Health Worker can change the life of a young person and set them on track for a better future. It is the role of a Youth Mental health Care Worker to offer vital assistance, care, and guidance, and enjoy the reward of seeing their clients grow and thrive.

A career in Youth Work is varied, challenging, and highly rewarding. With Youth Mental Health being an issue affecting so many Australians, there has never been a better time to study and train within this field.

To get started in a career in Youth Mental Health, visit the TrainSmart website, and download the course outline for a Certificate in Mental Health.

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