Youthful Health

Bringing Focus to Youth Mental Health

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Equilibrium Health Gold Coast

Gold Coast Psychological service Equilibrium Health is located in Labrador on the Gold Coast and is endeavouring to help youths monitor and manage their mental health issues.

Founder and Principle psychologist Emma Howard has been a physiologist for eight years and has created this safe environment for people suffering mental health problems to talk about their issues and work through them in a step by step process.

“It’s just good to be able to enable patients and clients of equilibrium to have a holistic mental health treatment service available”, Ms Howard said.

Services provided include psychotherapy, psycho-education, counselling, youth counselling, group therapy just to name a few.

This is a great service that is available locally for anyone who wants to talk about any issues they may be having or know a friend who may benifit from this.

More information can be found at the Equilibrium Health website.

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Check It Fest!

As part of Mental Health Week 2014, Southport will be host to a youth targeted event at Broadwater Parklands on Sunday 12th October. Check It Fest 2014 is aimed at the 12-25 age group to promote positive interaction within the community and to create as safe place where youths can talk about any issues they may be having. Don’t be intimidated or scared though, the main aim of the day is to HAVE FUN! The event will include activities such as

  • A free BBQ
  • Free live music and entertainment
  • Giveaways
  • Talent competition
  • fun games

This will be a safe, positive, fun and inviting atmosphere for all youths and their families to come together. What make sit even better is that this event is FREE. More more information and contact information about this event visit the Check It Fest 2014 info page.

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Mental Health Week is Here!

We are now in the second day of Mental Health week 2014!

So far the response to this long week event has been positive with hundreds of events being held all across Australia to promote mental health involvement and to create awareness. Organisers are hoping that this years event will be bigger than ever as crowd numbers are already up from last year. The ABC’s Mental As week long radio segment has worked in conjunction leading up to Mental Health Week 2014 and was a great success with many listeners saying they now have a greater insight into how mental health issues can affect anyone at any stage in their lives.

Stay tuned for more details on community events as they unfold.

More details on events can be found at World Mental Health Day website.

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New App Assists Mental Health

Gold Coast psychological service Equilibrium Health have launched a phone app  that enables users to monitor and track their personal mental health state.

Facade Feedback allows uses to access the same tools as a healthcare professional to create a confidential profile of their mental health which can assist them in identifying potential emotional, behavioral and personality issues.

Creator of Facade Feedback and principle psychologist at Equilibrium Health Emma Howard, said she wanted to enable users to get a clear picture of who they are from an objective point of view.

“With façade feedback the premise is that we put on a social mask every day, we act in a certain way that at times is not actually a true representation of our transparent, honest and sincere true self.”


Photo taken by Crystal-Rose Fleming

The app works on measuring five elements; mood, personality, sociological stresses, first world focus and a user added component.  In each section the user is able to see what range they sit in; either mild, moderate or severe based on answering a series of questions.

As it is in an application form, Façade Feedback is helping generate discussion among mental illness sufferers and stopping it from being such a taboo subject within society.

Façade Feedback user Kathleen Hancock, said it has helped her address her anxiety related issues more effectively.

“Being able to track my mood anywhere any time has been great, a lot of my friends have also downloaded the app so I don’t feel so alone.” She said.

Since the release of the app in June of this year, it has had a positive response with the number of downloads increasing each day.

However Doctor at the Australian Medical Association, Richard Chong, told the ABC that using internet tools as a means of self diagnosis poses potential dangers to users.

“Cheaper ways of meeting health needs may seem like a good option but often leads to further complications, so we don’t encourage people to pursue this path.” he said.

Ms Howard said it was not her intention to promote self-diagnosis.

“Self-diagnosis is not something we’re encouraging. It is providing users with the appropriate tools and support in a seamless, clean design,” She said.

“There are disclaimers about the utilisation for this app to be used appropriately so I urge people to read that before use.”

The app is encouraged to be used in conjunction with regular psychological and counselling sessions to give the user a less intrusive platform to monitor their behaviour.

Further improvements and update of the app will be carried out later in the year to keep up with user demand.

Façade feedback is available on iTunes for a cost of $2.49 and is available now.


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“Mental As”

Mental Health week is fast approaching!

This year it will run from 5th-12th October and ABC is launching an initiative to coincide with the event. “Mental As” will be a  segment dedicated to promoting and creating awareness of mental health nationwide. This will run for the entire Mental Health Week and will be featured on radio, TV and online so anyone anywhere can access it. The initiative will include interviews with well known TV personalities as well as politicians, comedian and health care professionals. This is an effective way to get the message across that mental health is a pressing issue that can’t be ignore while still maintaining a light hearted approach.

Be sure to tune in on all media platforms from the 5th October!

More information can be found at 

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Thursday 11th August was R U Ok? day- a day dedicated to making sure your family and friends are dealing with everyday life and the challenges it throws at you. This day brings communities together to form a support network for those who need it most. Youth mental health is a growing issue with many adolescents facing schooling, financial and family issues or may not be feeling themselves; this is where we need to create awareness. Simply asking “are you OK?” can help more than you could imagine; just knowing someone cares often gives youth the confidence to open up and talk about what’s going on. If you are someone whose in this position; not feeling quite right or overwhelmed with life right now- it’s OK. We all feel like this sometimes (i certainly do) and conversation is one of the best prevention methods.

Griffith University got on board this week, holding a range of activities to promote open discussion and conversation between peers. Cake stalls, activities and an opportunity to talk to support networks were offered and fully utilized by both students and staff. Griffith is certainly setting the foundations for an open and supportive education environment.

Remember, don’t be afraid to ask the question.


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Welcome to Youthful Health

This is Youthful Health’s first blog post!

I’m a third year communications student majoring in Journalism and Public Relations; and I have a particular interest in mental health and am passionate about opening the channels of communication to youths dealing with these issues.

This blog is focused on addressing youth mental health and paying particular attention to what assistance there is for people suffering a mental illness on the Gold Coast and surrounding areas. Speaking from experience, it’s hard to deal with mental illness at any time of your life let alone when your in your teens trying to come to terms with the world and what place you have in it. The main message this blog will give is that you shouldn’t feel that you’re alone or be scared to seek help. Most people will go through a mental illness at some stage in their life so to be honest it isn’t a tabu subject at all. Despite this, people still stigmatise it within communities and treat it like something “weird”.

Youthful Health is here to help you. Remember mental illness is not abnormal or weird, it is a real issue effecting millions of people around the world. Life is like a merry go round; it often spins you into a daze and you feel like you have no control over where you stop or what you’re doing. Everyone feels like this sometimes and this doesn’t last forever, talking about it is the first step towards recovery.


Photo by Crystal-Rose Fleming

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start”

– Nido Qubein