R U OK? Day, Australia’s national day of action for suicide prevention, reminds us that every day is the day to ask, “R U OK?”.
It is estimated that as many as 50% of mental health issues first develop during teenage years, highlighting how critical it is to invest in research to understand how to prevent, manage and support mental health issues in younger Australians.
The Black Puppy Foundation was established over 10 years ago to fund research into mental health issues affecting Australia’s youth, specifically in the fields of anxiety, depression and psychosis. The Black Puppy Foundation is linked with Australia’s pre-eminent authority on mental health research, The Black Dog Institute. Where previously there was a one size fits all approach to mental health, through their funding for research, The Black Puppy Foundation have helped shift the focus to ensure that those affected receive youth-focused treatment.
Dr Huckvale, a post-doctoral fellow, provided employees with practical information and advice on mental health issues for adolescents, including:
- Highlighting the importance of being persistent in asking “R U OK?” if concerned;
- Advising how to identify anxiety and depression warning signs (including the difference between anxiety, depression and teenage angst); and
- How to provide support.
R U OK? Day – a conversation could save a life.