Experts on improving youth mental health

media release

The impact of technology on youth mental health will be one of the topics discussed by an expert panel at a Brisbane event today (Thursday 28 March 2019). 

The Queensland Family and Child Commission has invited professors, advocates and experts to examine the issue of mental health in young people at a ‘Research in the Round’ event on March 28 at Queensland University of Technology. 

QFCC Principal Commissioner, Cheryl Vardon, said it was important to look beyond health interventions to understand the factors for poor mental health in youth. 

“We know that one in two people will experience mental illness in their lifetime,” Ms Vardon said.  

“We also know that almost half of all lifetime mental health problems start before a child is 14 years old, and almost 75 percent before 25 years of age.” 

Ms Vardon said the panel will also focus on how stress changes people’s genomes and the big data that drives social media. 

Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Ivan Frkovic said strengthening the mental health and wellbeing of young people could prevent and reduce the impact of mental illness, problematic alcohol and other drug use, and suicide. “Getting in early benefits young people and their families and communities and can also reduce the medium- to long-term costs to the health, education, welfare, justice and other systems,” he said. “As a community, we need to support young people’s mental health and wellbeing by making them feel included so they can achieve their potential and participate fully in their education, the community and, eventually, the workforce.” 

The ‘Research in the Round’ event is the latest in a series. The March event will bring together experts including Professor Brett McDermott, Professor of Psychiatry at James Cook University and Ms Lucy Thomas OAM from Project Rockit and Dr Sarah Bendall from the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health.’