HEADSPACE Day, held Wednesday, October 6, is a national day of support for the mental health and wellbeing of all young Australians.

This year, headspace is encouraging young people to focus on the small steps they can take every day to form healthy habits – after all, small steps start big things.

On headspace day, alongside headspace Community Engagement Officer Kris Cousins, headspace Wonthaggi Youth Advisory Group (YAG) members Flynn, Lainee, Kasey and Rose celebrated by holding a pop-up stall at the Wonthaggi Plaza.

The pop-up stall aimed to engage with young people, community, families, and friends to raise awareness of mental health and encourage early help seeking and drive health literacy.

The National Youth Mental Health Foundation has launched new research that finds more than half of young Australians, 53 per cent, deal with personal problems on their own, rather than speak to someone.

These alarming findings have sparked an urgent call from headspace for all young people to take small, everyday steps that support their mental health.

For this reason, headspace Wonthaggi YAG was encouraging young people to take small steps that are right for them.

Community members who attended the stall were gifted headspace collateral and the newest headspace Day assets.

YAG was asking headspace Day quiz questions, and if a participant got it right, they won a $5 voucher from two local cafés.

The headspace National Youth Mental Health Survey found three in five young people, 63 per cent, feel there is still stigma around seeking help for a mental health illness

headspace CEO Jason Trethowan said the events of the past 18 months have put added stress on the mental health and wellbeing of many young people.

“We know young people have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic with major changes to their study, home and social lives,” Mr Trethowan said.

“That’s why we are so concerned that many young Australians continue dealing with their problems on their own instead of reaching out for help.

We want young people to know there is always someone you can talk to – be it a trusted adult in your life, a friend, a family member or a service like headspace.”

The theme of headspace Day 2021 is small steps start big things, and headspace encourages young Australians to start making small steps towards a healthier mental space, leading to bigger things.

Mr Trethowan said small steps can include, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day to create a sense of routine, a lunchtime walk, a phone call with a loved one, or doing something for yourself like trying out a new recipe or listening to music.

“These steps might seem simple, but they’re the first things to go when times get hard,” Mr Trethowan said.

“Young people are incredibly resilient, and, with the right skills, they can and do get through challenging periods in their lives. Let’s encourage and build these habits now.”

headspace is encouraging young people to create some time and space to focus on the things they love.

Spending five or 10 minutes each day on something that helps them slow down a little, create a routine, connect with someone or take a moment to breathe.

If you’re in need of urgent mental health care, talk to a GP or health professional.

Support services include:

* Headspace on 1800 650 890 or headspace.org.au.

* Kids’ Helpline on 1800 551 800 or kidshelpline.com.au.

* Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 or beyondblue.org.au.

* Lifeline on 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au.

* Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 or suicidecallbackservice.org.au.