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Insights into young people in Australia

Posted by Tracy Adams, AFSC on 30 April 2021
Insights into young people in Australia

The year 2020 has been characterised by big challenges and big achievements for Kids Helpline (KHL).

It is hard to believe that at the beginning of 2020 we thought supporting children and young people recovering from the bushfires that were ravaging parts of Australia was going to be the defining challenge of the year. Just a few months later, the world as we knew it had been turned upside down with the global spread of COVID-19.

Therefore I would like to start this report by extending my thanks to our yourtown team members, many of whom make up 'team KHL'. Team KHL has worked tirelessly during the past 12 months, providing a safety net of support to young people dealing with the consequences of changes to their life and routines in 2020.

As a provider of virtual counselling services to young people across Australia for nearly three decades, Kids Helpline was well positioned to meet need. However, we quickly had to increase capacity of our counselling services to respond to the accelerating contacts from children and young people in the moment they needed help.

Mental health has been a number one concern for children and young people for many years. Managing mental health was a challenge for parents, as well as navigating the economic challenges to many families. Kids Helpline was able to respond to more phone, email and web counselling contacts as well as supporting a significant increase in content demand through the Kids Helpline website throughout 2020. The strength of the rise in support of our yourtown art unions, as well as increased financial support through corporate funding and Federal and State governments contributed to a positive impact on the mental wellness of those accessing our counselling services.

This year, we celebrate 30 years of Kids Helpline. The service was created to give children and young people somewhere to turn when they needed help. Since day one, advocacy has been important to us. Our ability to capture non-identifying data gives voice to the concerns, needs and aspirations of young people, giving Kids Helpline the unique ability to analyse the issues facing children and young people to enable their voices to be heard in Australia.

It's also important to acknowledge the past as we evolve to meet the current needs of young people into the future.

In 2020, I am also pleased to report that Kids Helpline was granted $1 million in funding by the Bupa Foundation to extend our My Circle program over two years, which is bringing together young people in a secure counsellor moderated space. Bupa has been a committed corporate partner since 2019. You can read more about My Circle in this report.

I hope you'll understand our pride as we dedicate some of this report to marking the achievements of the past three decades.

Just as we revolutionised support for children and young people three decades ago, we have aspirations for the future that are equally as exciting.

What won't change is our absolute commitment to children and young people. The professionalism, the confidentiality and the trust is how Kids Helpline embodies yourtown's Lasallian values. We look forward to the next 30 years.

Download the report 

Author:Tracy Adams, AFSC
About: Tracy Adams, AFSC, serves as the chief executive officer of “yourtown,” an agency that provides a range of face-to-face and virtual services to children, young people, and families seeking support. She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School General Management Program, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (AIM), and an Affiliated member of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
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