October 10 marks World Mental Health Day to raise awareness of mental health issues and mobilise efforts in support of mental health.

The World Health Organisation shares that adolescence and the early years of adulthood are a time of life when many changes occur, for example changing schools, leaving home, and starting university or a new job. For many, these are exciting times. They can also be times of stress and apprehension however.

In some cases, if not recognised and managed, these feelings can lead to mental illness. The expanding use of online technologies, while undoubtedly bringing many benefits, can also bring additional pressures, as connectivity to virtual networks at any time of the day and night grows.

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated. In terms of the burden of the disease among adolescents, depression is the third leading cause. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. Harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs among adolescents is a major issue in many countries and can lead to risky behaviours such as unsafe sex or dangerous driving. Eating disorders are also of concern.

If you would like to talk with someone for yourself, or regarding someone you care about, ring Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 (24hours/7 days per week) or contact the Maleny Neighbourhood Centre between 9am – 3pm Monday-to-Friday for details of the next safeTALK workshop on 5499 9345. You can also visit www.1010.org.au for a list of resources and help.