Bronwyn Collins
Bronwyn Collins

Beyondblue is running a competition for anyone aged between 12 and 25, with a $1000 surfboard as the prize.

To enter, young people should take a photo of themselves that best represents this year’s Youth Week theme of Be active. Be happy. Be you.

Ms Carnell said the theme was appropriate because good physical health and positive self-esteem were important parts of being mentally healthy.

“One of the best ways to stay healthy is being active,” she said. “For young people aged between 12 and 18, 60 minutes of exercise every day can have a big impact on their physical and mental health. This can be as simple as a long, brisk walk or a ball game with friends. For young people aged 19 and above, half an hour a day of moderate exercise most but preferably all days of the week is enough to stay healthy.”

Beyondblue ambassador Bronwyn Collins, 24, said the week’s theme is a good way to live life.

“I play a lot of sport and found that helps me keep mentally healthy,” she said. “That’s why the surfboard is a great prize. But whether it’s surfing or something a little less adventurous, I’d ask all young Aussies to make staying active a priority.”

Beyondblue encourages young Aussies to embrace their differences and be themselves in celebration of National Youth Week in April.

More young people die from suicides in Australia each year than are killed in road accidents, making suicide the leading cause of death in that age group. This disturbing fact, along with figures that show more than a quarter of young Australians have a mental illness such as depression or anxiety, highlights the ongoing need to make young people aware of the importance of staying mentally healthy.

For the seventh consecutive year, beyondblue is supporting National Youth Week from April 4 to 15 to raise awareness about good mental health and to encourage young Australians to look out for each other.

Beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO said figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show more than 320 Australians aged between 15 and 24 took their own lives in 2011.

“This is very concerning,” she said. “This means that a quarter of all deaths in this age group are as a result of suicide and that more young people take their lives than die in motor vehicle accidents. This is far too many.

“Australian Bureau of Statistics data also shows that 26% or more than 550,000 young people have experienced a mental illness such as depression or anxiety in the last 12 months. These figures are frightening, especially if they don’t know where to get appropriate help.

“We hope by funding around 90 events during National Youth Week that young people who are having a tough time will come to know they can access information and help through the beyondblue website or talk to someone at the support service (1300 22 4636), especially if they are experiencing depression or anxiety. If they don’t want to speak to someone they can email a counsellor via the new website, which launched today, or choose the online chat option and chat live with a counsellor from 4pm to 10pm AEST, seven days a week.”

Cyberbullying, drugs and alcohol and feeling isolated are some of the many issues that can have an impact on young people’s mental health.

beyondblue encourages young people to LOOK for the signs of depression and anxiety, to LISTEN to their friends’ experiences, TALK about what’s going on and SEEK help together.

Ms Carnelll said beyondblue has released an information pack for organisations staging Youth Week event with a mental health component which will help them promote messages about how to stay mentally healthy. The info pack can be downloaded from

For information on how to enter the competition or to find National Youth Week events in your state, visit It also contains important information about helping yourself or someone else deal with depression or anxiety. For general information on National Youth Week, visit