YMCA NSW has welcomed a number of measures outlined in the NSW Budget 2018-19 for young people and families.
YMCA NSW Interim CEO Lisa Giacomelli said: “YMCA NSW welcomes the investments in young people and families announced as part of the 2018-19 State Budget, in particular the funding for 100,000 fee-free apprenticeship places to create employment opportunities for young people, the $5.2 million earmarked for programs to encourage youth participation, the $100 million allocated for mental health support services per annum and the support for families through subsidies for children attending pre-school.
“We also welcome the creation of the NSW Generations Fund and hope it will serve as a means for the young people of today – who will be the leaders of tomorrow – to have the resources to make important and lasting investments in our communities.
“While we applaud the significant investment in mental health infrastructure included in the Budget, we believe it is critical that more preventative mental health support is put in place to specifically address the crisis of youth mental health across NSW.
“There’s a growing body of research that indicates mental illness in young people is on the rise and that almost a quarter (22.8 per cent) of people aged 15 to 19 show symptoms of probable serious mental illness.[i]
“As an organisation that empowers young people through mental wellbeing and advocacy programs like YMCA NSW Youth Parliament, StreetGym and Teen Gym, and through our Youth Hubs in regional and urban areas, we know that there is a significant need for more investment in ways to connect young people to each other and their communities.
“We see this particularly with our own mental health support program YMCA Brightside, where 16-25 year olds make up a substantial 25 per cent of all participants.
“Preventing youth mental health issues is everyone’s responsibility and we all need to make it a priority.”
Media contact: Louise O’Donnell |firstname.lastname@example.org
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