It's All Right' - Mental Health Project
26 March 2004 at 12:03 pm
The mental health organisation SANE has launched a youth website to help teens aged 13 to 17 years with information, advice and referral to support agencies, for those with a parent or friend affected by mental illness.
The web site, www.itsallright.org, offers help to an estimated 30,000 young people who have a parent with a mental illness, with many taking on a primary care role.
SANE says one in four will experience a mental disorder themselves, and those remaining are likely to have a friend they are concerned for.
Barbara Hocking, SANE’s Executive Director, says there is growing recognition of the need to educate young people about mental illness that is bound to affect them at some time in their lives – through family, friends or their own experience.
Hocking says the website is a most effective way to reach this group, providing anonymity and using language they can understand.
Professor Fiona Stanley, Board Member of the Telstra Foundation, which gave a grant to develop the website, says its so important that this type of information is presented positively and in a way that is accessible to young people.
Stanley says it’s a great site for young people to learn about mental illness and to start to understand and support those who are dealing with its challenges every day.
The website is designed to appeal to teens with a ‘funky’ interface. The story of four fictional characters is told through entries in their online diaries, as they meet at a group for young people with families affected by mental illness.
SANE Australia is a national charity helping people affected by mental illness.
It was founded in 1986 as Schizophrenia Australia Foundation and adopted SANE Australia as a new business name in 1996.
To check out the new web site go to www.itsallright.org.