A community based program which encourages young people with mental health issues to help each other will be rolled out to other municipalities, thanks to a $100,000 Myer Foundation grant.
Live4Life was developed in 2009 by Macedon Ranges council in conjunction with five local schools and social support agencies.
It was developed in response to a reported increase in depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide among young people, particularly among 13 to 14 year-olds.
Macedon Ranges council has since fielded requests from other local government areas to duplicate its successful program.
An independent entity, Youth Live4Life Inc, has now been set up to enable other rural and regional communities to use the Live4Life model.
Mayor Graham Hackett said other councils had been unsuccessful in gaining state funds to start the program in their municipalities.
“We are thrilled that the Myer Foundation is funding the new Youth Live4Life Inc to take the first steps in rolling out the program to young people across Victoria,” Cr Hackett said.
Youth Live4Life chairwoman and Macedon Ranges resident Sarah Mahon said although the new organisation was separate from Macedon Ranges’ Live4Life, the two groups would continue to work closely.
“There are no short cuts for suicide prevention,” Ms Mahon said.
“It is long term and requires a whole of community approach.”