Connections more crucial than ever as demand for mental health services escalate

Coast Community Connections CEO Bruce Davis

As the nation celebrated R U OK? Day on September 10, Coast Community Connections highlighted the importance of youth mental health services in the region.

The not-for-profit organisation, a leading provider of youth mental health services to the local community, has seen a notable escalation in demand for its services in the past several months.

“We have seen an increase in the number of youth presenting who are experiencing high levels of anxiety, mental health issues, self-harm and suicide ideation,” CEO Bruce Davis said.

“And sadly, it is a trend that is being reflected right through our community.

“In addition to the rise in youth reaching out for help, there has also been an increase in the number of parents and carers who are reaching out to request assistance on behalf of a young person they are concerned about.

“Local schools are also reporting an increase in ‘school refusal’, where a student refuses to attend school due to a lack of emotional capacity.”

Davis said thanks to much-needed funding and strong partnerships with organisations such as the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) and Primary Health Network (PHN), Coast Community Connections’ Coast Youth Service team has continued to deliver a range of vital services including individual support and psycho-education to assist young people to feel empowered and make informed choices about their lives.

“We’re also seeing an increase in demand for our youth drug and alcohol counselling services which we believe can be attributed to the current climate of uncertainty due the COVID-19 pandemic and there is often a correlation between an increase in drug and alcohol use and mental health issues,” he said.

“It’s evident from the increase in demand we are seeing that young people need support now more than ever.

“R U OK? Day is a timely reminder that we all have a duty to reach out, check in and stay connected with those around us.

“It may not seem like much, but it can make a world of difference to a person in need.”

Media release, Sep 10
Coast Community Connections