The outback city of Mount Isa and surrounding communities will be used as a test site for a nation-wide program to help young people with mental health issues.
Now the Australasian Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health wants to rewrite the program to suit youth and will run a pilot of that program in North West Queensland.
The organisation is consulting with people in and around Mount Isa today to ask them what they think needs to be in the youth mental health program.
Project officer Michelle Leenders says the area was chosen because of its proximity to remote indigenous communities and the high rate of youth suicide in the area.
“The area is a greater high needs in young people,” she said.
“And if we can actually do some proactive stuff for people when they are younger, they are not going to need the services of mental health facilities when they are older because they will have the skills and ways to process information and get over problems.”
This piece first appeared on 612 ABC Brisbane on 26 September, 2013. Audio also available on the ABC website.