Edition 7 April 2005
Western Youth is a mental health promotion newsletter for those working with young people in the west
and northwest region of Melbourne. It is produced by the Mental Health Promotion & Partnerships
team at ORYGEN Youth Health and distributed every quarter.
The purpose of the newsletter is: We would like to invite you to make a contribu-
tion to our future newsletters. It can be as short
· To proﬁle innovative initiatives for young
as a few lines. We are looking for information
people within the west/north west Melbourne
about projects/programs or initiatives rather than
· Link up those working with young people
across different sectors (education, health, To contribute please contact Katie Scott on 8346
mental health, arts, recreation, drug and 8213 firstname.lastname@example.org.
alcohol, forensic, etc.)
· Provide a central database of successful This newsletter is available in an electronic or
youth health/mental health promotion print version. To subscribe please phone Sandra
initiatives and key contacts Biggs on 8346 8213 or send your contact details to
Welcome to the seventh edition of Western Youth. A key aspect of the survey focused on how often
It has been a pleasure preparing this edition for boys talk about their feelings and concerns.
print. Contributions are interesting and varied.
I continue to be pleasantly surprised at the extent The survey found that almost half (47%) of the
to which people value Western Youth as a means boys interviewed never or very rarely talked
of communicating information about successful about their feelings or concerns, despite the fact
initiatives. This edition includes a range of infor- that 43% of these boys wanted to talk more of-
mation including a focus on funding and scholar- ten about such things.
ships, conferences and same-sex attracted youth.
To discover why some boys did not express them-
Katie Scott, Health Promotion Ofﬁcer, ORYGEN Youth selves as they would like to, their survey responses
Health. were compared with those from boys who talked
at least sometimes about their feelings and con-
cerns, and who were content with their level of
Spotlight on… emotional expression (expressive boys).
Kids Help Line Silenced boys were more likely to cry or get an-
gry when they were upset compared to expressive
Silenced Boys boys. Silenced boys were also less likely to say
Over the past decade there has been an increas- that they tried to hold their emotions in, calm
ing level of concern about the welfare of boys themselves down or try to get over feeling upset.
and young men in Australia. Higher rates of These boys were more likely to express them-
completed suicide, homelessness, incarceration, selves through action with many ‘getting into
and poorer educational and health outcomes for trouble’ for breaking things, ﬁghting, terrorising
young males compared with females is disturb- their siblings and being disobedient.
ingly juxtaposed to lower rates of help seeking by
males. In an attempt to discover why young men Fear of embarrassment; fear about how people
are more reluctant to seek help and what may would react; concerns about being overwhelmed
prevent them from expressing their needs readily, by their emotions; a desire to keep things to them-
Kids Help Line (KHL) surveyed 422 young males. selves; and lack of opportunity were more likely
Western Youth #7 1
to be cited as reasons for not talking about their challenging norms that discourage boys from ex-
feelings compared with expressive boys. pressing themselves and the critical role parents
play in modelling and encouraging emotional ex-
When silenced boys were asked whether they had pression.
ever been unsuccessful at telling someone how
they felt, 48% recalled an instance where they This is an excerpt of an article that appeared in
had been ignored, rejected or humiliated com- the November 2004 Kids Help Line newsletter.
pared with 43% of expressive boys. Friends were For the full article see http://www.kidshelp.com.
the most common source of rejection followed by au/upload/10572.pdf.
parents (particularly mothers), and teachers.
Family Differences What’s Happening In…
There is an increasing body of evidence indicat-
ing that boys rely more heavily on their family ARTS
for support throughout childhood and adoles-
cence compared with females. Girlstorey
Girlstorey have just released their new timetable
Results showed that silenced boys perceived their for April 2005. They have a whole range of free
families to be less fair and equitable than expres- creative workshops for young women aged 15-
sive boys, and that parents of silenced boys mod- 30. There is no need to register, Girlstorey’s staff
elled fewer constructive coping strategies and less and volunteers invite you and your client to drop
emotional expression than the parents of expres- in to any of the workshops and join in the fun.
sive boys. Girlstorey can be found at Level 2, 289 Elizabeth
St, Melbourne and the workshops run Tuesday-
Parents of silenced boys were more likely to hold Thursday 11.30-3.30pm.
in their emotions, get angry or withdraw when
they were upset. Further, silenced boys also re- An example of some of the exciting workshops
ported that their parents were less likely to share Girlstorey are offering include:
any of their own feelings.
· Circus Skills: Learn about acro-balance and
Contact with fathers other circus skills
Almost three-quarters (75%) of silenced boys · Clay Work: 4 week journey using clay to help
had parents who were married or living together, express the real you
24% higher then for expressive boys (51%). · Dance & Choreography: These workshops
will help you explore ways to express
Silenced boys were also much more likely to have yourself through choreography and
contact with a male parent than expressive boys. movement
88% of silenced boys had contact with their fa-
ther all the time compared with 60% of expres- · Hip Hop: 4 week programme exploring hip
sive boys. hop culture and skills. Learn about emceeing,
djing, and b-girling (break dancing)
Qualitative analysis revealed that silenced boys · Journal Writing: 6 week programme will
not only spent more time with their fathers, they focus on expressing yourself in journal and
also had poorer relationships with their fathers creative writing.
than expressive boys. Silenced boys felt less un-
derstood by and related less well with their fa- · Non-Nanna Craft: Come and play with
thers than their more emotionally expressive textiles and paints.
counterparts. · Poi: Learn how to ﬁre twirl without getting
One conclusion that may be drawn from the sur-
vey results is that the boys were silenced because · Song Writing & Music: Explore song writing
they adopted more masculine gender identities as and music, learn basic guitar and piano skills
a result of spending more time with their fathers. and express yourself through song.
This does not mean that fathers are to blame for · Visual Art: Looking at issues of self and
the emotional silence of their sons. However, identity using a broad range of mediums such
these ﬁndings do highlight the importance of as printmaking, drawing and sculpture.
Western Youth #7 2
· Writing & Performance: Set within a Information sessions:
framework of personal monologue these
Western Metropolitan Region Information Session
workshops will give you a chance to explore
(covering the LGA: Melbourne, Moonee Valley,
your stories through theatre.
Maribyrnong, Brimbank, Melton, Hobsons Bay
· Yoga: Exercise your body and mind with and Wyndham)
lyengar yoga. Date: Wednesday Feb 23rd 3.45pm – 4.45pm
Venue: Maidstone Community Centre
For a full list of their timetable please email
21 Yardley St, Maidstone Melways Ref: 41 F1
email@example.com, or check the YWCA website
Local Information Session (Covering Footscray,
Sunshine, Deer Part, St Albans)
Funding / Scholarships Date: Wednesday March 2nd 3.45pm – 4.30pm
Venue: West Sunshine Community Centre
School Focused Youth Services Kermeen St, West Sunshine Melways Ref: 40 C4
There will be one project brokerage funding
round for 2005. For more information contact:
Who can apply? · Greg Woolford
Government and non-Government schools and · Ph: 9372 5365 Fax: 9372 5371
relevant youth and community services working · firstname.lastname@example.org
with young people between 10-18 years old. Footscray/Sunshine
Aim of projects · Sandra Di Giantomasso
· Ph: 9680 8238 Fax: 9687 5740
To strengthen the resilience of young people and · email@example.com
to enhance their connectedness to their family,
school, peers and community. Keilor/Melton
· Chris Soderiou
Closing date · Ph: 9364 3200 Fax: 9364 3733
The deadline for receiving applications is 4.30pm
Friday 1st April, 2005. Hobsons Bay/Wyndham
· Susan Gill
Brokerage application forms · Ph: 9932 1095 Fax: 9932 1090
All applications for funding are encouraged
to consult with the SFYS Coordinator prior to Western Chances Scholarship Program
lodging an application. Application forms and
Western Chances has been established to ensure
guidelines are available via email/fax/mail by
that the absence of money does not prevent a
contacting the SFYS Coordinator.
young person in Melbourne’s West from achiev-
SFYS Priority Areas ing their maximum potential in life, be it in the
educational, social or cultural pursuits which
1. Focus on 10-14 year olds contribute to the realization of that potential and
For example: the enhancement of their contribution to their
- social skills community. Western Chances is supported by
- leadership Western Health.
- activities that improve school engagement
2. Transition from primary to secondary school The object of Western Chances is to: ‘Give children
of the Western Suburbs of Melbourne hope and op-
3. At risk groups requiring additional support portunity to break out of the cycle of poverty and
- newly arrived disadvantage by providing scholarships to assist or
- same sex attracted enhance the development of these children.’
- indigenous Australians
Applicants must be a resident of, or attend school
in, the municipalities of Brimbank, Hobson’s
Bay, Maribyrnong, Melton, Moonee Valley or
Western Youth #7 3
Wyndham. Further information on the terms and training and thesis on enhancing the conﬁdence
conditions of the scholarship are available from of isolated young people through group work.
Contact details for Jane Maher BH: 9419 1534
New scholarships application dates for 2005 are M: 0419 102 338 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Round 1: 18th April – 6th May
Coles Education Grants
Round 2: 3rd October – 21st October
Purpose: To assist students in years 10-12 to pur-
You can also download application forms from the chase educational material and tools.
website during the above times www.westernchances.
org.au. Alternatively, Helen or Jade can be contacted Looking at the website you will note that around
on 8345 1850 or 0438024764. 16 grants were awarded in Victoria last year. An
opportunity exists from March to apply for this
Health Category: Education, Employment
Paying Attention To Self Program
Closing Date: Ongoing (from March 2005)
A peer support group for young people aged 13
– 18 years whose parent is affected by a mental Applications can only be completed online.
illness. PATS meets on a weekly basis for eight Application form not available until March.
weeks each school term. The aim of PATS is to Website: http://www.coles.com.au/careers/schol-
increase the participant’s knowledge of mental arships
health and illness, to improve their help seek-
ing behaviour and coping strategies and improve
their sense of connection to peers, family and the New Resource
Referrals are currently being taken for the next All aBoard! – a guide to helping organisations
PATS group which will commence on Tuesday involve children and young people on boards
May 10 for young people aged 16 - 18. The group and committees – is now available in hard-copy
is run from the Centre for Adolescent Health, 8 format. All aBoard! has lots of information, tips
Gatehouse St Parkville and practical ideas about things like recruitment,
supporting young people, making meetings fun
For more information on the program please contact and lots more. Follow the link below to ﬁnd out
Danielle Forer on 9345 7950 or email danielle. more about All aBoard! http://www.kids.nsw.
Conﬁdence in Groups Youth Facts & Stats Website
Private groups are available for secondary school Australian youth facts and stats
aged young people in the North and West who
This site is seeking to provide a one-stop infor-
have lost conﬁdence with friends and want
mation service where youth service providers,
to meet other young people dealing with simi-
practitioners such as youth workers and health
lar stuff in a safe and conﬁdential group space.
workers, policy-makers and educators, and
Through group work with others their own age
young people themselves, can ‘go ﬁrst’ to quickly
young people can recover their conﬁdence, build
ﬁnd reliable data, sorted by subject matter and
their self esteem, optimism and resilience and get
back on track with enjoying friends, doing their
school work and growing up. This resource has been funded by the Telestra
Foundation and the Australian Clearinghouse
Jane Maher set up and ran the CHAT group pro-
for Youth Studies (ACYS) is actively seeking
gram for shy, lonely and bullied young people
feedback about the site. It can be found at http://
at the Centre for Adolescent Health from 1997
to 2005 when it was defunded. She is a psycho-
therapist currently completing her psychodrama
Western Youth #7 4
Education sonal mentor who will support young people to
develop skills needed to ﬁnd a job or explore
Chill Choose Change – Working Together training options.
‘Working Together’ is a whole school, strengths
based approach to solving a problem together. For more information contact Bronwyn Davison on
CCC begins by hearing from a school about a ph: 9925 7203 or 9925 7774
particular difﬁculty that is affecting a part or the Make A Difference (MAD) Day
whole of a school community. A strategy is de-
The Make a Difference Program is run by the
veloped to work with groups within the school
Education Foundation and aims to assist students
to develop resources and skills to address a prob-
to learn and take action to make a difference in
lem. CCC plans to work with a school in the west
the world and their local communities. The main
in Term 2.
theme of MAD for 2005 is Reconciliation and
Interested schools or agencies may contact CCC Harmony. This is an opportunity for students to
Crossroads network on 9384 8312 (Jane, Brendan become better related to one another as well as
and Tamara) or email chill.choose.change@aus. people of all cultures. The MAD kit, which can be
salvationarmy.org obtained to assist schools, contains a number of
other themes and ideas for values-based projects
that give students the opportunity to impact on
Peers lend a helping hand their world.
Kids Help Line’s experience has shown that when To request a FREE MAD kit, email Adrian Bertoli at ad
young people have a problem they turn ﬁrstly to email@example.com your name, school
friends for support. Friends want to help each and postal address. You can also contact Adrian on
other but sometimes may feel unsure about how 9650 4277 or visit http://www.rumad.org.au/
to, especially with very serious issues such as child
abuse, mental illness or suicidal thoughts or feel-
ings. The Kids Help Line Peer Skills Workshop Spirt West – Fresh Program
was developed to address these uncertainties and
Spirit West Services: a division of the Western
to positively enhance the helping skills of young
Bulldogs is currently offering an alternative edu-
people during their adolescent years.
cation program for young people.
Peer Skills workshops are hosted by second-
The program is tailored to meet each individual’s
ary schools and youth agencies in all States and
needs; assisting them to develop skills in the fol-
Territories throughout Australia. The workshop
lowing areas; Reading, Writing, Numeracy, Oral
is designed to build on the listening, problem
Communication and General Studies. The pro-
solving and protective skills of young people to
gram meets the requirements of the Certiﬁcate of
enable them to safely and constructively help a
General Education for Adults (CGEA).
friend or peer. Most importantly, participants are
encouraged to seek the support of an adult when Successful completion of the course will give par-
problems seem serious. ticipants the equivalent of a Year 10 pass, which
will help to gain entry to VCAL/TAFE, VCE,
Kids Help Line Peer Skills provides information
an apprenticeship/traineeship, or other employ-
and guidelines on important points to consider
when establishing a peer helping program.
The course is provided in Footscray between
For more information about Peer Skills please check
9am-2pm Tuesday to Friday.
out the website at www.peerskills.com.au
Do you have a client or know a young person
that you think would be interested in an alterna-
tive learning environment or wants a qualiﬁca-
The LYPET program is for young people aged 15- tion that is the equivalent of Year 10 and is aged
24 yrs who have not completed secondary school between 15 and 19 years old?
or who are not engaged in employment, educa-
tion or training. Young people must have some If so they may be eligible to enroll in ‘SpiritWest
connection to the city of Darebin or Whittlesea. Services’ Fresh Program based in Seddon. If someone
The project will provide participants with a per- you know is interested in this program call Monika
Western Youth #7 5
Ercoli and Jo Nightingale at SpiritWest Services on Date: 12-19 April 2005
9680 6167. Cost: $660
Venue: Port Fairy
Professional Development Opportunities For more info: Gillian Swan Ph: 0437 610 994 or
ORYGEN Youth Health Training www.adolescent.com.au
Level One Training Session:
Putting Self Harm in Context – Issues, Myths Networks
Western Families and Mental Health Network
Date: Wednesday April 20th
Carerlinks West and The Centre for Adolescent
Health would like to invite workers who are
Cost: $50 working with children and young people who
Venue: The Treacy Conference Centre, 126 have a family member who is affected by a
The Avenue, Parkville, on the corner of The mental illness to join this network which meets
Avenue and Walker St. on a quarterly basis. The Next Meeting of the
Network is on Wednesday 4th May at Carerlinks
Level Two Training Session: West in Footscray.
The Families of Young People Experiencing
Mental Health Difﬁculties: Obstacle or Asset? The Meeting is aimed at updating workers on
initiatives which are occurring in the region and
Date: Thursday May 26th aims to share information regarding resources
Time: 9-4.30 and ideas for working with these children and
Cost: $90 to identify needs and service gaps in the Western
Venue: The Treacy Conference Centre, 126
The Avenue, Parkville, on the corner of The If you are interested joining the network or would
Avenue and Walker St. like further information please contact Danielle Forer
on 9345 7950 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Any enquires and to register contact Sandra Biggs 8346
8213 email@example.com for a registration form.
Drug and Alcohol
Conferences “Journeys of Change”
Short Course in Mental Health and Wellbeing Journeys of Change is a unique program that has
been set up by MacKillop Family Services to as-
sist young inhalant users living in out of home
A FREE 2-day course in Promoting Mental Health care. The program aims to assist these young
and Wellbeing. To further develop the skills and people to address the issues that lead to their use
capacity of people in diverse sectors to under- of inhalants and other drugs. Journeys of Change
take successful mental health promotion activity. is loosely based on the Youth in Search model
Modules include evidence based project planning, run in New South Wales.
implementation and evaluation of activity with
speciﬁc focus on VicHealth’s Mental Health Young people are invited to participate in a three
Promotion Framework. For more information month program. During this time the young peo-
see VicHealth’s website www.vichealth.vic.gov.au, ple attend three overnight camps (i.e. one per
and complete an online registration form. month) where they are encouraged to participate
in “campﬁre conversation” about their inhalant
Engine Innovate: A conference where young (and other drug) use and examine the reasons be-
people lead the way hind their inhalant use.
Young People’s Thinking of Professional Practice: Young people are then asked to attend weekly
An Integrated Conference for Youth and follow up session with program staff where they
Community. The theme for this year’s conference have the opportunity to further discuss their drug
is Youth Participation
Western Youth #7 6
use and issues that may have been discussed dur- Same Sex Attracted
Free Resource Kit For Same Sex Attracted
Young people are also encouraged to maintain a Young People and Their Peers
journal of the “Journey” through the program.
A resource for young people who have a peer
This can be a written or pictorial journal or could
or friend that identiﬁes as ‘same sex attracted’.
be an audio or video tape or their thoughts and
Although this is targeted at friends and peers of
progress through the program.
same sex attracted youth (SSAY); SSAY them-
To ensue that the program works well there will selves, teachers, siblings and parents will also
be maximum of 4 young people participating in beneﬁt from this free kit that educates about sex-
each three month program. However young peo- ual diversity.
ple who have successfully completed the program
For more info: Tina Icario Ph: 03 9561 7359 or
(and are no longer using inhalants or other drugs)
may be invited to attend future programs as peer
Schooling & Sexualities … Ten Years On
It is important that young people are committed to
the program and committed to ﬁnding and using Ten years ago a conference was held by the
ways of reducing/ceasing their inhalant use. It is Centre for Education & Change in the Faculty of
therefore vital that young people attend all weekly Education at Deakin University which looked at
sessions. If they miss a session for any reason, they the need to incorporate gay, lesbian, bisexual &
will not be able to attend the next camp. trasgender issues into Australian schools. Deakin
University will again be holding a conference to
All camps are attended by a qualiﬁed counsellor look at schooling and sexualities. The conference
and a qualiﬁed youth worker. All weekly sessions will be co-facilitated by Dr. James Sears from the
will be conducted by qualiﬁed counsellors. United States who is a renowned scholar on les-
bian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in edu-
Young people can be referred to the program by cation and curriculum studies. The conference
contacting Colin Charles on 9376 3555 and obtaining organisers are currently calling on those who may
a referral form be interested in giving a presentation, setting up
an exhibition of resources, giving a performance
(e.g. youth theatre) or submitting a paper. The
Homelessness conference will be held on Friday 30th September
to Sunday 2nd October 2005.
YEETI is the new initiative from the Victorian For further details or if you are interested in
Government, Department of Human Services, contributing contact Dr. Lisa Hunter on 0417 622
to help homeless young people aged 15-24 who 863 or lisa.hunter@grifﬁth.edu.au
have difﬁculties accessing and maintaining em-
ployment, education or training. Melbourne
Citymission has attracted funding of $2,000,000
to develop and implement the initiative until the
Youth Mental Health
end of June 2007.
Homelessness Assistance providers will be able
to apply for YEETI brokerage packages to help Youth Mental Health Promotion is a broad area
support young clients with costs relating to em- but it incorporates some fundamental practice
ployment, education or accredited training which principles. If you can answer yes to one or more
otherwise they might not have been able to meet, of the following questions then it is likely that
in order to promote self-sufﬁciency and inde- your initiative is mental health promoting.
pendence. There will be four YEETI application
rounds in 2005.
For more information, call Lenche Kozmevska, YEETI
Administrator, (03) 9680 8233 or see the YEETI
website at: http://www.yeeti.org.au .
Western Youth #7 7
· Does your initiative enhance protective · Have you promoted a sense of belonging and
factors and decrease risk factors for young being valued?
· Are there broader social values that you are
· Have young people been involved in the trying to address/shift through your activity?
planning, development or delivery?
· Has there been an emphasis on strengthening
· Have you collaborated with other links between different aspects of young
organisations and across different sectors? people’s lives, e.g. school, community,
· Will it provide an opportunity for young
people to learn new skills and/or make a · Have you addressed evaluation and
contribution to the community? sustainability?
· Are there opportunities for young people to
The next edition of Western Youth will be produced
form close relationships, reinforce healthy
in June 2005. If you would like to contribute please
contact: Katie Scott 8346 8213 firstname.lastname@example.org
· Is there cross-generational interaction?
Western Youth Feedback – Fax this page to 9347 9099
Please tell us what you think of Western Youth; comments, suggestions and impact
Name (optional): ___________________________ Position: __________________________________
Contact Number or Email: ______________________________________________________________
Western Youth #7 8