Health & Safety

Social worker provides peer-led trauma support at Maryborough State High School

Queensland, AUSTRALIA: Youth Insearch, Australia’s leading peer-led youth trauma recovery organisation, is expanding its services to Maryborough by placing a social worker at Maryborough State High School to support at-risk youth as a part of its place-based model.

The Primary Health Network (PHN) that Maryborough is a part of has the second-highest rate of intentional self-harm hospitalisations in Australia, while Maryborough is in the lowest 5 percent of the most disadvantaged suburbs in the country, highlighting the importance of providing preventative mental health support services for young people in the area.

Maryborough is the seventh location in Queensland where Youth Insearch is delivering its place-based model in partnership with community organisations. Through the place-based model, staff work in youth’s communities with local partners to support young people to recover and reconnect with their community. The program comprises modules centred around individual support, weekend workshops, support programs and leadership training.

Given that mental health and behavioural problems are highest in inner regional areas like Maryborough, Youth Insearch CEO Stephen Lewin said that the launch of the program will ensure vulnerable youth in the area have access to vital support.

“We’re excited to launch our latest program in Maryborough and look forward to working closely with the local community to support young people in the area. Youth Insearch is committed to shifting the dial on youth suicide by ensuring all young people have access to support, and every program we launch makes that goal more attainable,” said Mr Lewin.

“This means that young people who have experienced or are experiencing trauma have access to greater support to help them start the healing process. Young people who attend our programs are equipped to be empowered, take control of their lives and play a positive role in society.”

Simon Done, Principal of Maryborough State High School, said that the Youth Insearch program will help in building strong learning outcomes for students.

“Maryborough State High School looks forward to commencing an ongoing relationship with Youth Insearch,” said Mr Done.

“The wellbeing of students and families is core to the successful operation of a school. Without this bedrock in place, students cannot build solid structures for learning.  Organisations and opportunities such as Youth Insearch provide a vital link between school and home and provide the chance for that bedrock to be found and built upon.”

The launch of the program in Maryborough has been made possible through funding from Hand Heart Pocket and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.

Tim Fairfax AC, Chairman of the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation (TFFF) has expressed the importance of supporting Youth Insearch to improve outcomes for young people across Queensland.

“The TFFF is enthusiastic about supporting Youth Insearch’s vision to end youth suicide through a place-based, prevention model. TFFF and Youth Insearch share a vision for changing the odds for young people in rural and regional Queensland and it is a pleasure to work with an organisation that is exceeding expectations,” said Mr Fairfax.

Hand Heart Pocket CEO Sara Parrott said young people today are facing more challenges than ever before.

“The last few years have been particularly tough, but with the help of their peers, young people in Maryborough that are facing adversity will learn to build support networks and participate in the community,” Ms Parrott said.

“We are proud to partner with Youth Insearch to fund the delivery of this program which we know can help young people change the trajectory of their lives.”

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