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Bright Futures grant gives young people the chance to shine

Published on 02 February 2018
  • Children and young people

A new project aimed at building resilience and fostering social connection and mental wellbeing in young people living in Maroondah will be delivered in 2018, thanks to funding by VicHealth.

Maroondah City Council will receive a $50,000 grant to run a project entitled ‘Youth Uploaded’ which will trial pro-active strategies to equip young people to better cope with life’s challenges.

As part of the project, funded through VicHealth’s Bright Futures Challenge, Maroondah’s Youth Services team will co-design a digital program with young people and key stakeholders. The project will involve the production of short videos and other digital content made with young people, for young people.

Maroondah is among 12 councils across Victoria to share in $750,000 of funding through VicHealth’s Bright Futures Challenge aimed to encourage social connection and opportunities for young people to talk about problems before they become too great.

Maroondah Deputy Mayor Cr Mike Symon said strong social and support networks and being empowered to manage their own wellbeing were important to reduce young people’s vulnerability to depression and increase their capability to deal with life’s ups and downs.

“Increased funding for these types of local projects are vital to ensure Council can work proactively to create better outcomes for our young people,” Cr Symon said.

“Studies have shown that between the ages of 12 to 25 is a period of social and emotional development and a time when people face challenges that may affect their mental wellbeing.

“We need to take a preventative approach and work to build resilience in our young people to instill confidence and the ability to cope with the challenges life can bring,” he said.

VicHealth Executive Manager of Programs Kirstan Corben said the latest funding grants would seek to address the upcoming trends that will impact the mental wellbeing of young Victorians over the next 20 years identified in VicHealth and CSIRO’s Bright Futures report.

“Our research shows young people will need to adapt and cope with challenges that are very different to what their parents faced,” Ms Corben said.

“An increasingly competitive global job market, the continued rise of digital technology, increased automation and over-exposure to online content are emerging issues we need to tackle,” she said.

“The Bright Futures Challenge is all about local government working in collaboration with young people, so they are empowered, resilient and prepared for what the future may offer.”

As part of this project Council will be working with young people in out of home care to design the content, which will include providing skills and knowledge needed to transition from living at home to independent living.

For more information visit the Bright Futures Challenge website

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