Good mental health is fundamental to quality of life and physical health. It contributes to the ability to find satisfying social roles in life and allows people to form positive relationships with others.

For young people who are still developing socially, emotionally and physically, the development of a mental health problem or disorder can disrupt and seriously impede their social development, education, family relationships and vocational path. Mental health issues affect not only the young person, but also their family, carers, friends and the wider community. Yet there is evidence that young people do not readily access services to support their mental health needs.

Around 75 per cent of all severe mental illness starts before the age of 24. By age 21, just over half of young people will have experienced a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. Suicide accounts for 17.8 per cent of deaths in the 15-19 year age group and nearly a quarter of all deaths in the 20-24 year age group.

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