Well said Jayden, you are the young man that Australia needs

Letters to the editor

[Forum] In response to the article “Schoolboy takes Council to task over censorship,” which appeared in edition 223, Jayden Dellbridge, the 14-year-old boy the article was about, is a suicide prevention and awareness advocate, and to Jayden, I say, well said.

Firstly, I would like to draw your attention to an article in The Australian published that very day of Jayden’s address to council.
This article by the very well known Professor Patrick McGorry says: “The nation can’t afford to underfund mental health.”

Prof McGorry goes onto say: “despite two decades of awareness campaigns, countless reviews and planning, our approach to mental health care has been mostly ad hoc and fragmented.”

I couldn’t agree more. Firstly, mental illnesses emerge in young people and derail and disable them across many decades.
Secondly, there is a serious underspend on access to quality mental healthcare that few Australians can reliably access in a timely way.
So back to Jayden.

At just 14, he is presenting on the serious topic of suicide with the knowledge of someone who is many years older than himself.
I applaud Jayden and ask, is it no coincidence that his article was published the same day as Prof Patrick McGorry’s? I would say this a wake up call.

It has been discovered by psychiatrists the world over that 14 is the new age that they discover the first signs of mental illness in youths.
So sweeping these conversations under the rug and saying we can’t have young people talking about such topics is definitely the wrong action of Council.

Google has been out for decades and there is nothing we cannot research.
However, I would like to input that I have 30 years’ experience of serious mental illness with a family member.
Fortunately, I saw to it that he could see a psychiatrist and be hospitalised for as many weeks as need be.

We saw seven psychiatrists before we got a good one 30 years ago.
Mentally ill young people may not have the insurance needed to cover such costs, as private health insurance is now so expensive.
Their alternative is to get taken into a public hospital and after two days or so, be discharged. That is when they commit suicide. What type of health system is that? Also, some families support them while others abandon them.

I believe most of the homeless today are mentally ill.
So, the authorities and governments are not listening.
That person would be better off with two broken legs and two broken arms.

I read about it all the time. Many years ago, no one talked about mental illness, but now it is coming out, so why stop this young man voicing his opinion, with many supporters to help him along?
He obviously has a commitment to do something, why should we stop him?
It is the young people today that will become the doctors and psychiatrists of tomorrow.

Who are we to stop the live stream?
So, Jayden never give up and don’t let anyone shut you down.
You are the young man that Australia needs.

Email, Dec 18
Maureen Boys, Kincumber