4 minute read

Mind Australia’s new Youth Lived Experience Advisory Team (Youth LEAT) will ensure the voices of young people with lived experience are heard, and their ideas shape the design and delivery of Mind’s services.

The new Youth LEAT comprises young people (aged 16 to 24 years) with a lived or living experience of mental health challenges. The advisory group also includes young people who support their family and friends.

The Youth LEAT will focus on young people and the challenges specific to them. They will work on advocacy projects, service design and delivery, recruitment and selection processes and lend their expertise to help make decisions at all levels of the organisation.

Katie from North Brisbane is a former Mind Step Up Step Down service user and now a member of the Youth LEAT. The 21-year-old was also part of the Youth LEAT’s design and development team, and was previously a member of Mind’s original general Lived Experience Advisory Team (LEAT).

Katie says being part of the Youth LEAT is an opportunity to use her own personal experience of mental health challenges to make a difference. 

“I love being part of Mind’s LEAT, and youth mental health is something I’m passionate about. Being in the Youth LEAT is an opportunity to connect with young people and discuss the issues that we face as a youth cohort, such as school, relationships and social media,” Katie said.

I love being part of Mind’s LEAT, and youth mental health is something I’m passionate about.
- Katie

“There’s a different subset of issues for young people that require a specific focus. The Youth LEAT is a forum to achieve that and give young people a voice. Otherwise, no-one knows about these issues and no-one is heard. People need to hear directly from the source.”

Katie says being involved with Mind’s LEAT and now the Youth LEAT has also helped her on her mental health recovery journey.

“I’m studying mental health so being on the Youth LEAT and learning the ins and outs of a mental health organisation has been great for me,” Katie said.

“Being on the LEAT is like being part of a community and it feels like we are making a genuine difference too. This experience has reaffirmed to me that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Mind CEO Gill Callister said the Youth LEAT would help Mind build on its commitment to lived experience.

“Mind is a recognised leader in the delivery and innovation of lived experience approaches in mental health. We strive for meaningful participation with service users, families and carers, to co-design processes and challenge biases,” she said.

“It’s through advisory groups like the Youth LEAT that we are able to inform co-design approaches to mental health support, properly understand what works and comprehend the needs of specific groups of people. We strive to be informed by lived experience in everything we do, and the establishment of the Youth LEAT is certainly another milestone in our journey.”

The Youth LEAT will help deliver Mind’s new Young People Strategy – a three-year plan to grow our commitment to supporting young people to flourish while living and working on their mental health and wellbeing.

If you would like more information about Mind services near you, contact us by submitting a form via Mind Connect or phone: 1300 286 463.

If this article raises concerns for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders can also call 13 YARN (13 92 76) a 24/7 national crisis support telephone service staffed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 
If you would like more information, please contact us.

1300 286 463 
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