Mental health charity to call Woodend home

L-R Robyn Hunter, Chair Youth Live4Life Board, Life4Life alumni Kyle Hayes, Mary-Anne Thomas MP, Live4Life alumni Laura Crozier, Mayor Jennifer Anderson and Youth Live4Life CEO Bernard Galbally. (Pic Sandy Scheltema) 242017_01

By Oliver Lees

A health promotion charity that focuses on improving mental health standards for young people in rural communities has opened a new headquarters in Woodend.

Established in 2015, Youth Live4Life was designed to expand the youth suicide prevention and mental health education model in the Macedon Ranges.

Youth Live4Life chief executive Bernard Galbally said the mental health of young people in rural and regional Victoria has never been more important than now.

“Over the past year, Youth Live4Life has experienced a period of considerable growth and we are thrilled to set up our office in the rural shire where Live4Life began,” Mr Galbally said.

“Life4Life provides mental health education and suicide prevention initiatives for rural and regional communities. The program supports young people to recognise, seek and offer help for mental health concerns, and builds the capacity of the whole community to look after its young people.”

Live4Life was awarded the 2018 VicHealth Award for improving mental wellbeing.

The charity was also featured in the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System final report as a case study that highlighted “innovation in community-led mental health solutions for young people”.

Suicide is the leading cause of death among young Australians with rates of suicide higher in rural areas.

According to Live4Life data, almost 25 per cent of the Macedon Ranges population has received mental health first aid training.

The headquarters will be located on Collier Street in Woodend.