Over the last couple of years, there has been significantly more attention directed to mental health. People are talking about it more and national events like ‘R U OK’ day have helped to push mental health into mainstream media. However, something that isn’t really talked about is the relationship between mental health and sexual health. So to try to figure out this link, the YEP Crew hosted a forum with members of the YEP Crew and different headspace WA Youth Reference Groups (YRGs).
Firstly, we brainstormed all different issues relating to sexual health and mental health. We looked at things that work, things that don’t, and identified barriers that may prevent someone from engaging in positive sexual behaviours. From this we identified seven key themes to further explore (e.g. discrimination, media influence).
After this, we looked at these key issues more closely and in depth. The second activity consisted of identifying what we think would be important for young people to know about these issues and what people working in the youth sector need to know about. Because of the diversity of our group, with participants coming from different areas of work, different interests and life experiences we were able to get some really rich information.
The main purpose was to see if a link between sexual health and mental health exists, and if it does, should we develop an educational workshop on it? The answer was a resounding yes! Everyone participated in the forum with such enthusiasm and it was really inspiring to see so many young people passionate about making a positive change. We have such a great opportunity to pioneer in this area and I’d like to say thank you to everyone who attended. Hopefully, we’ll have more exciting news about this project coming soon.
Watch this space!