Y someone's speaking out?
Ybblue Crew, youth advocacy group for beyondblue:
the national depression initiative, talk about who
they are, and what they're all about.
most recent estimates, approximately 100,000 young
Australians experience depression at clinically significant
levels each year (Sawyer et al., 2000). The majority
of young people with mental health problems do not
seek advice from health professionals; many being
worried about the negative perceptions of others if
they do, or simply not knowing where to find help.
groups conducted by members of beyondblue with young
people inducted that depression is often confused
with everyday sadness or anger during adolescence,
or is thought to simply be the result of 'having a
tough time' at school or work. This is a concern as
it means that young people may dismiss the warning
signs of depression in themselves or others, such
as sleeping difficulties, trouble concentrating, and
irritability, as just a normal part of growing up.
It is important to differentiate between the typical
difficulties associated with development and the warning
signs of depression. However, if the potential significance
of these symptoms is misunderstood, it is likely that
many young people will not seek advice from a professional,
or even reveal their experiences to a parent or friend.
are the Ybblue Crew?
is the youth agenda of beyondblue. The Ybblue Crew
are a group of 11 young people between the ages of
16 and 25, from all states/territories of Australia.
The Crew includes people who have been affected directly
or indirectly by depression, and those who are concerned
about and empathetic towards current issues surrounding
the mental health of young people. Personal accounts
about their involvement in Ybblue reveal that Crew
members wish to build on their own experiences to
facilitate greater public awareness and understanding
of depression and its impact on young people.
a young person you can sometimes struggle with the
problems of the world and how you fit into the scheme
of things. I joined Ybblue because I saw it as a good
way to work towards helping others...
believe depression can be known as a silent illness...
if I can help create awareness of depression then
hopefully I'll also be helping other young people...
already come a long way in Australia, but a lot of
people still don't understand what depression is,
and how it can affect people's lives. As young people,
we have the power to change this for the future, and
I think it's vital that we work together to achieve
Ybblue Crew came together at the beginning of 2004
to form a representative voice for young consumers
and carers. In addition to increasing awareness about
depression and its impact on young people, their families
and communities, the Crew aim to work with service
providers and other organisations to create a community
response to this issue and to promote safe and supportive
environments for young Australians.
achieve these outcomes, Ybblue is promoting three
key activities for young people: to look for the warning
signs of depression in yourself and others; listen
and be considerate of the feelings of others, and
talk to someone if you're worried dabout them or yourself,
and be encouraged to seek help.
to recognise the warning signs of depression?
promote this first step, Ybblue has begun disseminating
information about depression in young people. This
information about the symptoms or warning signs for
depression in young people, and the contexts in which
young people may notice these signs in themselves
Current scientific and clinical knowledge about evidence-based
treatments for depression in young people;
Dispelling the myths about depression in young people;
eg. that it's better to deal with depression alone
than to bother others with your problems, or that
depression is just the product of normal teenage behaviour.
For this first step to be successfully encouraged,
this information needs to be presented in a form that
is accessible for young Australians and relevant to
their everyday lives. The Ybblue website ( www.ybblue.com.au)
is designed to do this by providing: a forum for young
people to tell their stories and read about the experiences
of others, the contact details for organisations and
help-lines that provide both immediate and long-term
help and advice, and a range of free factsheets about
depression and anxiety. The Crew and a team of health
professionals review these factsheets with a young
audience in mind so they use language and examples
that are easily understood by teenagers and young
adults. Factsheets include vignettes to assist young
people in recognising the warning signs of depression,
as well as suggestions about how to care for someone
with depression and how to handle school or work during
the message out there that it's okay to talk about
depression and encouraging young people to ask for
help when it's needed
overall objective for the Ybblue Crew is to reduce
the stigma often associated with depression and encourage
respect for individuals and families affected by depression.
Talking about depression can often be difficult for
young people, so the Ybblue website provides tips
on how to begin a conversation with someone you're
concerned about, how to listen in a supportive manner,
and useful questions to ask that can make others feel
comfortable about discussing their feelings.
the help that you and others may need
encourages young people to recognise that someone
with depression often does not have the energy or
strength to find the help they need, and my need the
support of a friend of family member to assist them
in contacting a health professional or counselling
service. The Ybblue website and more detailed factsheets
provide advice about the types of health services
that are available to young people experiencing depression,
such as GPs, specialist health services, web-based
counselling services and help lines. The website provides
links that enable users to find these services in
awareness - Ybblue activities
Ybblue Crew is building and maintaining partnerships
with a range of institutions for young people (such
as schools and public health centres), and groups
that appeal to young people (such as sporting organisations
and retail outlets). Throughout 2004 a number of crew
members have also participated in television and print
media interviews about their experiences with depression.
In addition, the Crew are currently managing and developing
a number of 'get involved' depression awareness campaigns,
in which young people are encouraged to distribute
Ybblue information or organise a fundraising event
for Ybblue in their community or school. Young people
can request Ybblue posters and postcards to help with
you would like additional information about Ybblue
or access to factsheets, please visit the website
M.G., Arney, F.M., Baghurst, P.A., Clark, J.J., Graetz,
B.W., Kosky, R.J., Nurcombe, B., Patton, M.R., Raphael,
B., Rey, J., Whaites, L.C., & Zubrick, S.R. (2000).
The mental health of young people in Australia. Canberra:
Mental Health and Special Programs Branch, Commonwealth
Department of Health and Aged Care.
article: Auseinetter, December 2004. (Credit:
and Community Entrepreneurs
Man Australia would like to publicly congratulate
beyondblue for their fantastic work, and also thank
their many supporters, including Virgin