Students leaving high school can get free counselling

By Juliano Oliveira

A turbulent transition from high school might be a one-way path for male students without support.

Based on the report “Mental and Behavioural Conditions”, published by ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics), Kids Helpline, a counselling service for people from the age of 5 to 25, raises the importance of unveiling a distressing scenario: 1 in 5 males aged 15 – 24 have a mental or behavioural condition.

Yet males are significantly less likely to seek support, with only 21% of contacts to Kids Helpline in 2018 coming from males. “Transitioning from high school can be a time of heightened risk for mental wellness. It can be layered with difficulties that can originate in the transition period as students leave one life behind and begin another,” said Yourtown Chief Executive Officer, Tracy Adams.

To reverse this reality, Kids Helpline intends to instigate a debate around the male help-seeking culture towards mental ill-health. The first action needed is to deconstruct the image of invincibility and weakness, the latter when the case is to find help.

“Young men in need of support may feel that they are not able to reach out proactively, often discouraged from reaching out for fear of seeming ‘weak’. There is a perception among young men that they are invincible. Mental health just isn’t on their radar. They tend to believe that you just ‘harden up’ when times get tough or you feel overwhelmed. We want to let young men know that no one is bulletproof. Schoolies is the ideal time to watch out for their mates and for themselves,” Ms Adams stated.

Young people who have just finished high school and are in transition to further education, training or employment, may also be grieving and coping with an enormous amount of change, which may result in higher levels of vulnerability, stress and emotional distress.

“Our tertiary qualified, professional counsellors are experts in supporting young people at any time and for any reason. Kids Helpline provides support to young people aged 5 – 25. It is the only free, 24/7 counselling service to provide support to young people throughout childhood, adolescents and into early adulthood,” continued Ms Adams.

If young people want to talk to someone, they can call Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or use WebChat or email services.