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Award-Winning Youth Mental Health Program coming to Wellington in 2024
March 6, 2024

Wellington Shire Council is delighted to announce that the innovative Live4Life youth mental health and suicide prevention program will commence in Wellington Shire in 2024.

Live4Life brings together rural and regional communities to deliver evidence-based mental health education in schools and the wider community, create local partnerships to lead conversations about mental health which reduce stigma, and also promote young leaders as Mental Health Ambassadors. Live4Life is an award-winning prevention model centred on young people themselves. It protects young lives before a crisis occurs.

Wellington Shire Council is proud to take on the role of Lead Agency and work with the Schools and Community Partnership Group in implementing this groundbreaking, peer-led, evidence-based, community impact model, which spans both suicide prevention and mental health/wellbeing education — the only program of its kind designed specifically for rural and regional areas.

Ian Bye, Wellington Shire Council Mayor, stressed the importance of the Live4Life program to address youth mental health. He thanked the John Leslie Foundation for their generous support to bring Live4Life to Wellington Shire.

“We understand the significant issue of youth mental health in our community, and I am thankful for the program’s efforts to support young people in schools and other places they feel safe. With Council’s support, I’m excited to see the program’s progress over the next 12 months.”

Seventy five percent of people with mental ill health have their first episode during adolescence. Suicide is the leading cause of death in 15-24-year-olds in Australia  — and the suicide rate is 40% higher in rural and regional communities.

Wellington joins 10 other Victorian communities implementing the Live4Life model, where it has proven its effectiveness in growing mental health awareness and a help-seeking culture. Other Live4Life communities include: Ballarat, Bass Coast, Baw Baw, Benalla, Central Goldfields, Glenelg, Moira, Southern Grampians, South Gippsland and foundation community Macedon Ranges — as well as the first interstate Live4Life community in Break O’Day, Tasmania. There is currently a waitlist of over 20 rural and regional communities throughout Australia.

“We are thrilled that Live4Life brings together community organisations to improve the mental health of our students by equipping them with skills needed for a healthy life,” said Nathan Wallace, Deputy Principal at Yarram Secondary College.

"It is really exciting to be expanding the Live4Life model into Wellington,” said Bernard Galbally, Youth Live4Life CEO. “Live4Life is led by young people and involves the whole community. The Live4Life model has been proven to create more highly networked communities, which enhance resilience during hard times and help to support young people living in regional and rural areas. We know that when we work together, we can change lives.”

Youth Live4Life will partner with Yarram Secondary College, Maffra Secondary College, Sale Secondary College, Gippsland Grammar, Sale Specialist School, Catholic College Sale, Wellington Shire Council, Latrobe Regional Health and other health and community partners waiting to be onboarded to deliver this award-winning program in Wellington. Live4Life Wellington is generously supported by the John Leslie Foundation.

“Mental health is now being taken seriously by young people, and now young people know who and where to go to get support.” – SCHOOL & COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS GROUP MEMBER

“Live4Life has taught me how to look out for myself, and it teaches you how to look out for others – it’s about how you treat yourself and others, and it’s had a big impact.” – LIVE4LIFE CREW MEMBER

Live4Life Wellington Partnership Group.

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