Youth National Reference Group
The hY NRG team is made up of a group of people who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of young people. Hailing from all over Australia and from a diverse set of backgrounds, many of the hY NRG team have experienced their own struggles but overcome them to become advocates of youth mental health.
hY NRG makes sure that any new initiative from headspace will make a positive difference in the lives of young people, and the resources headspace receive from government and corporate partners are put to the best use.
There are others, but I think the list might be long enough already!
While I believe helping all youth is essential, supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people is my biggest passion.
All young people need to know that it’s ok to ask for help. Reducing stigma around talking about mental health issues and help-seeking is another passion of mine.
There are others, but I think the list might be long enough already!
I am passionate about reducing the stigma around mental health and living with a mental illness. I also wish to advocate for young people who are trying to get into, or are going through the mental health system. I feel strongly about promoting positive body image and self-esteem. I wish to work on reducing eating disorders in young people and educating people on the complex illness it is.
I am a proud gay female with a wonderful partner. I would love to encourage and support any young person to know that it is ok to love whoever you wish to love.
I want to share my story to prove that mental illness isn’t a personal failure and is nothing to be ashamed of. I joined hY NRG to continue working with young people and empower them to tell our own narratives, fight for what we’re passionate about and leave a lasting impact in society.
In my own experience, I have found that young men can struggle to connect with those around them. Starting conversations about my own mental health with close friends and family was one of the hardest, yet most worthwhile things I have ever done. Throughout my hY NRG term, I want to encourage young men to feel comfortable to start the right conversations, at the right time.
I also feel passionately about making drug-taking and alcohol consumption as safe as possible for young people. Having mental health problems can drastically change your attitude towards, and relationship with, substances. Equipping young people with the knowledge and confidence to make well-informed decisions for themselves, is an area I consider to be important.
An interesting fact about Erik...
I have been DJing for 5 years and I love electronic music. Also, my dog has a successful Instagram account.
When I saw the opportunity to become part of hY NRG, I saw it as a way to share the importance of peer work in youth mental health. Being a hY NRG member will allow me to promote the core values of peer work by instilling hope, and breaking down stigma to drive a meaningful recovery for every service user. This is done through fellow young people utilising their lived experience to share their story and guide other young people through their own recovery journey – an idea that is very close to my heart.
An interesting fact about Gillian…
I never know what to write or say in these sections! But a real interesting fact is that I really love board games and cool socks, I have too many of each that I don’t rotate through each of them enough!
My main areas of passion within youth mental health are early psychosis and complex mental illnesses. I know from experience how scary and isolating it is to receive a diagnosis that is surrounded in fear, stigma, or just a general lack of understanding within the community. It’s easy to lose hope. I want to use my lived experience to help other young people who are going through similar struggles, and show them and the wider community that recovery is not only possible, but inevitable. I’m also passionate about the importance of holistic treatment and peer support in recovery.
I’m passionate about changing the stigma around mental health illness in rural and remote communities, as well as creating stronger local support systems for priority groups such as LGBTIQA+ and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse young people. Addressing the needs of these groups in regional places can be challenging, and I hope through my advocacy to increase understanding and acceptance of minority groups in our communities.
I feel strongly about breaking down stigma around mental health and encouraging people to look out for each other. Though I think establishing support networks is essential, I am also passionate about increasing supports available to young people without close social networks. Mental health literacy (especially about the less spoken about disorders) and peer support are central interests of mine. I also care strongly about helping youth engage with their future and discovering new opportunities for themselves.
I have been a part of my local headspace for three years now and I have always enjoyed connecting with my community and others. headspace has allowed me to grow as an individual in a safe environment where it was OK to be me and now, I’m OK to be me.
Not many people believe this because I’m a big softy who adores hugs.
My main passions are around helping educators and families learn more about youth mental health, especially in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and lower-SES communities. Another huge passion is promoting understanding, education, and acceptance of issues surrounding sexual health. What I want is for young people to know that any barriers to reaching their personal successes can be overcome; and for the people around them who care about them the most to be there and tell them their voices have value!
I ran a youth forum in 2016 at Nhulunbuy (Gove) Arnhem land with about 250 youth from across Australia and some people from Canada. I started to think that helping young people restart their future and have a better understanding of why they are going through what they have been dealing with, is what I love and what I know I will be good at.
My main areas of passion are around erasing stigma surrounding mental illness, especially in ethnic and other minority communities that face concurrent issues. I would also love to see the increased use of technology in providing a safe space for people to reach out for help where they otherwise may not.
Eating disorder prevention is the area I am most interested in as I have had the most experience with it. I am passionate about educating service providers and schools in promoting healthy body image, and being able to identify early warning signs of eating disorders.
1) My name is spelt ‘Pheobe’ with an ‘eo’, instead the usual ‘Phoebe’ with an ‘oe’. This is because my dad was rushing for work and misspelt it.
2) I have an annoying coffee order: a dirty almond turmeric latte with cinnamon and honey.
A bit about Raja…
I applied for hY NRG because it’s an awesome opportunity to work in youth mental health, share my story and have an impact on my local community and future generations.
I’m passionate about youth mental health, animals, the environment and SELF CARE!
- I’m a vegan
- I love plants and walking in rainforests
- I also used to have a pet rabbit, Loppy.
I’m passionate about advocating for all young people, but especially interested in the wellbeing of university students as well as educating family, friends and carers on mental health and mental ill-health. I hope to work on policy proposals and reforms to improve access to services in my area.