The Wishlist Centre - actively empowering our youth - Wishlist Org
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The Wishlist Centre – actively empowering our youth

7th July, 2022

Every young person deserves the opportunity to learn and grow into the person they are meant to be. Equipping adolescents with the tools they need to thrive is an important part of raising adults who have the self confidence and the motivation to go out into the world and make a difference. 

However, there are many young people who are struggling for various different reasons whether it’s family issues, mental health struggles, or other issues. These vulnerable kids and teens often need extra support to feel empowered in life.  

Offering this extra support is vital to helping them overcome adversity, and letting tomorrow’s adults build a future that is bright for everyone.

What Wishlist is doing to help 

Wishlist has committed to directing $436,000 towards a Parental Resilience Group and Youth Advisory Group – to be activated in the Australian-first Wishlist Centre opposite Sunshine Coast University Hospital – over the next two years.

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe explained that the funding would help Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) staff enhance care informed by lived experience, for the increasing number of youth with complex mental health issues that have escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“200 young people are referred a month to our local Mental Health Department and this number is not slowing down,” Ms Rowe said. 

SCHHS Service Development and Research Coordinator Bramwell Morton, an experienced Clinician and Registered Nurse, will work with Project Support Officer Sarah Hickey and a group of adolescents who have experienced Child Youth and Mental Health Services – and provide a platform to amplify their voice. 

“These groups have the power to change the lives of adolescents and their families like we’ve never seen before in the Mental Health service environment on the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Morton said. 

“We really want to put it back on the adolescent group members and say we want to look through your eyes and create a better system for a legacy into the future.”

Ms Rowe said the groups will fit in perfectly to the comfortable and supportive environment that Wishlist Centre will be for patients and families. 

“For every young person who walks through the doors of their local public hospital, there is a family. Each person in that family is impacted by their family member’s health journey in a unique way, and that cannot be underestimated. We believe through these emerging groups, families will ideally receive what they believe is missing in their health journey,” she said.

Mr Morton said his team would soon be seeking to recruit six consumer and carer positions who will establish the Youth Advisory Group. 

The Parental Resilience groups will be available to parents who want to be supported with their own recovery journey while their child is recovering.

“We are just so excited about this opportunity and want to say a huge thank you to Wishlist for making this vision become a reality,” he said.

You can be a part of this effort to support local Sunshine Coast adolescents by donating here today! 

How you can be empowering our youth in your everyday life

While Wishlist is putting in the effort to fund those extra support services, you may be wondering how you can be actively empowring our youth in your everyday life. 

Here are just a few ways that you can help the adolescents in your life feel confident and capable. 

  • Give them the space, time, and trust to practice their autonomy 
  • Teach them the right skills before expecting them to succeed at a task 
  • Be patient and encourage trying, not perfection
  • Listen to their ideas, and encourage independent thought
  • Include them in decision-making processes when possible
  • When you have concerns or problems, brainstorm together and approach it in a way that encourages problem solving
  • Encourage their accomplishments with praise 
  • Encourage them to explore their interests and what excites them 
  • Be honest when you talk to them 
  • Help them plan for their goals and make a realistic timeline that can help them stay motivated 
  • Help them access support systems for mental health 

Often if you show that you trust and have faith in their abilities, that can help empower young people to feel confident enough to achieve whatever goals they set out.

We want to give adolescents all the resources they need to succeed, and set them up for an enriching and rewarding life. 

Help Wishlist support more struggling adolescents

With the opening of Wishlist Centre later this year, Wishlist will be able to help enhance their support system for struggling kids and teens, empowering our youth to become the best they can be.

Wishlist Centre will be opening across from the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH), and will help support local families going through a health crisis with transitionary accommodation and extra support services. 

There are plenty of ways you can help Wishlist achieve this goal, whether it’s through donations, volunteering or spreading the word. 

You can read more about how you can help here