What is Youth Connectors?
A Connector is a Friend
The Act-Belong-Commit Youth Connectors program engages young people (“Connectors”) between the ages of 16-25 years in the Act-Belong-Commit principles for good mental health, giving them skills and confidence to be able to assist and encourage their peers to engage in mentally healthy activities.
As a peer-based mental health initiative, the Youth Connectors Program aims to:
- Increase awareness and encourage young people to adopt mentally healthy behaviours
- Increase resilience amongst youth aged 16-25 years
- Increase awareness of mental health to encompass wellbeing, de-stigmatise mental illness, and encourage help-seeking behaviour
- Increase participation in mentally healthy activities
The Youth Connectors program was established in Western Australia by Mentally Healthy WA. Mentally Healthy WA received funding through an Australian Health Promotion Association Graduate Scholarship and developed Youth Connectors in consultation with 35 young Western Australians across regional and metro areas.
We are excited to now offer the Youth Connectors program in the Muswellbrook LGA as part of the Muswellbrook Healthy & Well initiative in partnership with Mentally Healthy WA.
Impact of Youth Connectors
A recent evaluation of the Youth Connectors Program in Western Australia demonstrates it is making an impact in changing the way young people think – and talk – about mental health.
Since launching the Youth Connectors program in 2017, Mentally Healthy WA have trained over 700 passionate young people between the ages 16-25 years to be “Connectors” both from metro and regional communities across Western Australia.
Evaluation data shows that the program is significantly increasing young people’s confidence in:
- Applying the Act-Belong-Commit message to their own mental health
- Explaining the value of Act-Belong-Commit principles to others
- Talking to other people about being mentally healthy, mental health and mental illness
- Helping others to be more involved in mentally healthy activities