I've been hearing from the young people of Wentworth and their families that youth mental health and specifically body image is one of the biggest concerns facing their generation.
With the Butterfly Foundation's report producing concerning results around young people's body image, I have decided to hold this forum to help support our community and provide resources to those who need it.
The Butterfly Foundation Body Kind Youth Survey was completed by over 1600 Australians aged 12-18 years. Some of the key findings were -
- More than 90% of young people have a concern about their body image
- Nearly 70% of young people said they have experienced appearance-related teasing, with 73% of these saying they’d experienced it at school
- Nearly two-thirds of young people say their body image stops them from doing physical activities
- 50% of young people said that how they view their body has prevented them at some point from raising their hand in class
I will be hosting a panel discussion with -
- Helen Bird, Manager of Education Services at the Butterfly Foundation - the national charity for all Australians impacted by eating disorders and body image issues, and for the families, friends and communities who support them. Helen has worked at Butterfly for over 9 years leading their work in schools and communities across Australia, which has contributed to Butterfly’s reach of over 1.7 million young people and over 15k professionals and parents. Helen has managed the development and dissemination of new programs and initiatives at Butterfly, including the Body Kind Schools, Body Kind Families, and Australia’s first national youth survey into body image (Body Kind Youth Survey). She has a background in young people’s health promotion having worked in policy for the UK Government and service delivery roles for over 24 years.
- Dr Helen Rydge, a Clinical Psychologist who has worked with clients with eating disorders and body image concerns for over 20 years across a range of public and private settings. Helen formerly worked as the Clinical Lead at InsideOut Institute, Australia’s national eating disorder research and clinical excellence institute. In addition to seeing clients and families directly, Helen provides supervision and consultation to other clinicians and eating disorder services across Australia. She is passionate about improving the outcome for people with eating disorders.
- Isabella Griggs - Isabella has grown up in the eastern suburbs, attending Bondi Beach Public School and Randwick Girls High School. She has witnessed Bondi's change over the last 27 years and has endured the societal pressures and expectations that have come alongside this. Having overcome an eating disorder in her teenage years, Isabella is working towards making a career to help young adults in their journey with body image and self worth. Having just finished her Bachelor of Counselling at the Australian College of Applied Psychology, she is working towards pursuing this passion and purpose, and advocating for youth mental health.
- Jaimee Krawitz - Jaimee is a registered counsellor working in private practice. Jaimee is the CEO of newly established non-for profit organisation called “Hide N Seek” . Hide N Seek is on a mission to create an open language of conversation, raise awareness, and provide invaluable support and resources to caregivers of individuals experiencing an eating disorder. Jaimee has also compiled a resource e-book called “The Language of Seeking Help” which is a resource for caregivers on how to support an individual experiencing an eating disorder.
The key focus of the forum will be the sharing of information, education possibilities and community resources about body image. We will be talking broadly around common body image misconceptions, signs to look for in a person who may be struggling with their body image, learning how to be kind to your body and prevention of unhealthy behaviour related to body image.
We warmly invite anyone who would like to understand more about body image and how to support young people to attend including parents, carers and educators.
If you have urgent concerns about yourself or a loved one please talk to your trusted medical professional or reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further resources, please refer to The Butterfly Foundation at Butterfly.org.au
Church in the Marketplace is a venue space that has been rented for this event.