“If we can help, we must”
Sometime predawn on the road to Sydney International Airport in April 2014, Stephen Spencer proclaimed to his close mates, Ben and Craig – “I have an idea and I need your help”. Over the following 10 days while surfing in the idyllic and remote Mentawais Island chain, the seeds of EquiEnergy Youth were planted.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Crisis in Australia
Many young people in our communities experience challenges with their mental health and the stresses of life. Media, professionals and other adults are providing numerous commentaries about the challenges young people are facing regarding mental health. Most importantly, young people are telling us too. You only need to review the most recent Youth of a Nation Survey (Mission Australia., 2019) where 25 800 young people tell us that coping with stress, Mental Health and body image are their three top concerns.
Dr Stephen Spencer (PhD)
Dr Stephen Spencer first started his nursing career following the birth of his daughter. On that day, he and his wife were cared for by a male midwife, this planted the seed for him to pursue a nursing career. His first few years was working in a medium-secure Forensic Mental Health Unit. During this time he recognised many of the men he nursed in this setting had significant challenges during their formative, developmental years. He learnt quickly that early intervention and support for young people can have life-long impacts.
Benefits to Young People
- Improved communication and information sharing between young people and the community
- Greater ownership of responsibility for young person
- Improvements in academic performance and school attendance
- Reduced number of incidents of problematic/maladaptive and risky behaviours
- Reduced cases of coming into contact with criminal justice and homelessness
- Reduced need for hospitalisation (hospital avoidance) and reduced length of stay (LOS)
- Reduction in use of coercive interventions and decrease in chances of traumatisation associated with coercive interventions
Supporting Young People
Benefits to Agencies and Organisations
- Significant improvement in competency for those working with young people
- Increased family collaboration with mental health services
- Improved safety for families, teachers, carers and adolescents and increased confidence in engaging with distressed adolescents
- Greater awareness of youth mental health in society
- Substantial cost saving benefits to lead agencies and government
- Reduced duplication of services and decreased need for emergency/specialist interventions
- Transferrable change at the system/structural level, facilitating a positive cultural shift
We value Integrity, Innovation, Compassion and Community.
Equi Energy Youth is dedicated to preventing youth suicide, self-harm and acute psychological distress globally through healthy community connections.