Patrick McGorry speaking at Aanuka Resort.
Patrick McGorry speaking at Aanuka Resort. Bruce Thomas

Experts gather to talk suicide

YOUTH suicide and how to prevent it drew hundreds of young people and health professionals to venues in Coffs Harbour for a full-on two days of events.

More than 100 health professionals, teachers and counsellors gathered at Breakfree Aanuka Beach Resort on Saturday for talks by the 2010 Australian of the Year, youth mental health expert Professor Patrick McGorry, workshops and a panel discussion.

He told his audience that mental disorders far outweighed all other health problems for young people, but only 13% of these young men and 30% of young women accessed mental health services and this was the biggest problem for this age group.

He said prevention and early intervention were the only ways to make inroads and long delays or failure to access treatment meant a slower and less complete recovery.

Young people in this position saw their peer group evaporate; lost confidence and skills and their entry into care became traumatic and desperate, he said.

The results included forensic (criminal) problems, family discord and fragmentation and vocational failure, with people dropping out of school and work.

If you suffer from, or know someone who suffers from depression, please contact Kids Helpline



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