What do young people think about Canberra?

Rate Canberra 2012 is now out! A survey of 12-25 year old people in Canberra run by the Youth Coalition.

Here is a snapshot quoted directly from the executive summary

• The top five personal concerns for young people were school
work or study, stress, body image, feeling sad or anxious, and
finding things to do in Canberra.

• Young people thought the following general issues were the
most important: family relationships, human rights, mental health
and wellbeing, access to health services, and poverty.

• If they needed support in the future, most young people
indicated they would talk to a friend. This was closely followed
by talking to a family member or researching the issue on the
Internet. Less than half said they would talk to a professional.

• The biggest barrier to young people’s participation in social and
recreational activities was ‘I’m too busy / I don’t have time’,
followed by ‘it’s too expensive’ and ‘I can’t travel there / It’s too
hard to get there’.

• Most common modes of transport for young people included the
taking the bus, getting lifts from family members or friends, and

• Most young people were unsure or did not think that young
people were valued by the ACT community. Many felt that the
ACT community held negative stereotypes of young people and
did not consider them to be important enough to listen to.

• 60% of young people aged 16 – 17 thought that young people of
this age should be allowed to vote in government elections, if it
were optional rather than compulsory for this age group.


How do we work to assist young people in the development of their mental health and wellbeing?

1. Raise awareness of mental health issues by educating young people in schools (MIEACT).

2. Reduce stigma by telling young people the truth about your own struggles. Tell them what you have been through, what it felt like, how you got helpl and what it feels like now (stories of hope and recovery)

3. Role modelling of good help seeking behaviour, when you aren’t coping make the effort to get help early.

4. Act in a way that is beneficial to wellbeing – practice good self care, exercise, eat well, drink less especially in front of young people, talk about drugs and alcohol with your children and present an objective view based on research.

5. Involve them in decision making especially about their own health and lifestyle choices.

6. Actively involve yourself in their lives by doing things which you both enjoy.

7. Constantly work on developing an open honest dialogue with them to ensure they come to you when things go wrong.

8. Know their friends (but not in a creepy Facebook stalker way).


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