“Young people are our most important resource and certainly not the aimless troublemakers that the media often portrays,” says Amanda Gordon, President of the Australian Psychological Society (APS). “The staging of National Youth Week (1 – 9 April) provides a fitting opportunity to move away from negative stereotypes and celebrate Australian youth.”
Psychological evidence suggests that young people often have clear ideas for a better future, although they may need assistance in finding ways to make that better future happen. “It is vital that we listen closely to young people in order to work with them to achieve their goals, says Gordon.
“Those youth who are troubled often come from dysfunctional families, or have been denied educational opportunities so that they have a diminished concept of how they can turn their dreams into reality. This can sometimes lead to a sense of frustration or even depression.”
Gordon says that while young people are most likely to turn to their peers for support, they also need to speak with adults when times are tough. The challenge for older members of the community is to listen to the ideas that young people express and help them to turn their dreams into reality, not only during National Youth Week, yet all throughout the year.
“When young people know that they are being heard, they will work together to create a more positive future - a world in which they will want to live,” says Gordon. “This will promote happiness and reduce the risk of feelings of hopelessness which contribute significantly to the tragedy of youth suicide.”
For more information contact:
Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator
Australian Psychological Society
03 8662 3301