Background Paper For Project On Young People Of Newcastle With Mental Illness Assessment Answer

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Question :

Assessment Type Written Assignment

Purpose Project development and funding application: Working with Young People.

Social workers are required to assess a range of issues impacting on groups they work with and then to develop new projects or initiatives to address one or more of these issues. In order to fund projects that are needed, social workers can apply for funding from local, state or federal government funding programs or philanthropic organisations that offer community grants.

For this assessment task you are to assume that you are a social worker working at a local organisation in Newcastle which works with young people. You will need to research, develop a project and complete a funding application for the project.

Description Part A (40%) Length - 1500 words

Research and prepare a background paper for your project which will include:

- Relevant demographic and other statistical information regarding young people in Newcastle and if appropriate the particular group you want to work with (eg young refugees, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or transgender young people, young women, young men, young people experiencing mental illness, young homeless people etc.)

- Academic literature on young people and youth issues in Australia.

- Any policy or other reports on key issues impacting on young people.

- Brief discussion of 2 theoretical perspectives relevant to key issues you want to work on.

- Summary of the project you propose and how it will address the issues you have identified.

The paper can be structured according to the headings outlined above or you can develop your own format. The paper needs to be properly referenced in the same way you would an essay.

Part B (30%). Length - 1000 words using the template below.

Based on the research you have completed and presented in your background paper, complete a funding application for your project using the template provided here. 

Instructions: Enter your responses in the sections below. Do not exceed the word limits for each section. 
1. Describe your organisation (the nature and focus of the activities of your organisation) Up to 80words.

2. Name of your project. Up to 20 words 

3. Aims and objectives of the proposed project (list in point form). Up to 150 words

4. What community needs/issues does your project seek to address (include evidence for these needs/issues existing in the community)? Up to 200 words

5. How will the proposed project address the issues that your organisation has identified (include examples of similar projects that were successful in other contexts if available)? Up to 200 words. 

6. What are the theoretical principles that underlie your proposed project and how will these principles influence the way in which the project is run / implemented ? Up to 300 words.

7. List of references you have used to support this application (not included in word count). Only include items referred to in Q 1-6.

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Answer :


Part A:Introduction 

The aim of the study is researching and developing a background paper for the project on young people of Newcastle, Australia, who have a mental illness. Hence, the paper involves identifying related demographic and statistical information on the specific group of young people. Besides, academic literature on the particular issue and group is also presented along with relevant policies on the subject. Next, it analyses two theories on the selected issue and an overall summary of the project and the way it can address the issues considered here.  

Relevant demographic and other statistical information 

Newcastle LGA is estimated to acquire one-third of the total population of Lower Hunter, and it will continue to stay as the regional centre among the 5 Lower Hunter Councils. It is a particular 32000+ population within the upcoming 25 years within the region (2011-2036). In the last 25 years, 19071 people are increased in Newcastle. Voter enrolment is grown by 14.2% within 2006-2015. The population is projected to grow continuously due to the founding of new families and the movement of young people for employment and higher education. As of 2011, the community of Newcastle is 148,531, and it is estimated to reach 169205 by 2026 and 180643 by 2036. In 2011, there were 16303 children of 5-14 years and is expected to grow to 17931 by 2026. The population of 15-24 years was 21978 in 2011 that is projected to reach 25186 in 20206 and 26561 in 2036. The unemployment rate among youth is higher compared to the state average in Newcastle, that is 12.5%. The age of 15-24 years is a time of critical changes and intercession in life. During this age of developmental stage, cognitive, social, psychological and biological characteristics are highlighted. At this stage of life, highly risky behaviours and habits can be formed that have a long-term impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of young people. Further, unemployment is another factor influencing the mental depression of young people (Newcastle, 2019).

Academic literature about youth issue and young people in Australia 

The existence of mental illness among young people has become a significant health issue globally. The growing interest is showing toward the way young Australians within the general population are affected specifically. It has grown gradually challenging to avoid the effects of mental illness among adolescents and specifically among minority populations. Most importantly, troubling are informed suicide rates within the age group in the last decade. The author argues that the average age of start for mental illness is dropping, suggesting the schools are becoming essential environments for primary identification and mediation programs. Researchers have shown a link between psychopathology and school connectedness. Social interaction has a more significant role in the stoppage of mental health problems and its preclusion and facilitation in secondary schools (Allen & McKenzie, 2015). On the other side, in words, Rice et al. (2018), young adults and adolescent male do poorly on determinants of mental health revealed by elevated suicide rates, substance use and relational violence comparative to the female peers. Data on general health risk summary clearly shows that young male has a distinct health threat profile from a young female, underlining different prevention and medication needs. Evidence denotes that boys disengage from health care services at the stage of adolescence, meaning the starting of developing healthcare separation and related obstacles to care, containing offering to service distinctly. It is experiencing a sufficient or inadequately adjusted medical response and requiring overcoming prevalent societal behaviours and self- a disgrace to have available services. 

Hadjimina & Furnham (2017) has highlighted the influence of electronic gaming and internet use on the emotional, behavioural issues among adolescents. The concern is raised regarding a possible link between unnecessary online activities besides the academic realm and augmented levels of mental distress within young people. The authors said that youth suffering from psychological issues or a high level of mental anguish are the people who spend their maximum time on playing online games. It is found that these young people tend to attempt suicide, consume alcohol, face a great extent of mental illness, and live in an ill-functioning family.  

Any policy or other reports on significant issues affecting young people

The Australian government and the government of all territories and states collaborate for developing mental health policy and offering support services to the people suffering from mental distress. Territory and state governments are accountable for funding and delivering public focussed psychological health services and related mental support services. The government leads to national mental health improvement initiatives and subsidises a variety of services for people having mental health challenges. These provisions are synchronised and observed through a set of actions comprising nationally approved plans and strategies. For improving the psychological health of Australian young people, the governments have been working in partnership through the National Mental Health Strategy for formulating mental health curriculums and service for satisfying the psychological health needs of the people. The strategy has incorporated national mental health plans of 5 years, covering the time of 1993-2022 with the COAG (Council of Australian Governments). Further, in 2014, the government took effort for reviewing the existing policies and programs on mental health (AIHW, 2019). 

In 2016, a notable rise in the section of young people who have a mental illness, as found in the youth mental health report 2017. The percentage reached 22.8% from 18.7% between 2012 and 2016. 1 in 4 people of 15-19 years age reported to suffering from a severe mental health condition (Blackdoginstitute, 2017). 

In this year, a series of psychological health development activities were initiated. In 2017, the Health Minister approved the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (AIHW, 2019). 

A brief discussion of two theoretical perspectives related to significant issues 

Mental illness harms every population segment and specifically young adults. The beliefs young patients have to pertain to the reasons for psychological distress affect their treatment-seeking action. Several factors are there that affect the acceptance of psychiatric healthcare service, health issues and involvement with services, especially in people who belong to a minority group (Missionaustralia, 2019). These factors include the stigmatisation of psychological health issues and belief in malicious spirit. Cultural factors such as rules of the peer group, social attitude, family values, religious beliefs and other socio-cultural elements contribute to the attributions and behaviour toward youth mental illness. The attributional framework suggests that anxiety, stress and depression are typically linked with negative attributions and thinking. Attribution is the measurement of the reasons behind and activity or behaviour. It also includes the external (talking) and internal (reflection) method of inferring and understating factors influencing someone's behaviour. The theory defines a circumstance and identifies the cause of the action happened. The three dimensions of spontaneous attributions contain locus of control, the stability of casual attrition and attribution of stigma (Mbuthia et al. 2018). 

As commented by Schleider, Abel & Weisz (2015), compared to young people, who think that personal qualities are flexible those who believe that individual traits are static experience more moot and self-controlled distress. The connection between implicit theories or beliefs on the flexibility of personal characteristics and mental health issues among youth are explored in recent studies. It is found that youth with the idea that individual traits are fixed are more exposed to mental health issues. Thus, there is a definite link between entity theories and psychological health issues. However, implicit assumptions can facilitate the prevention and treatment of mental health challenges among youth.

Summary of the proposed project and the way it will solve the identified issue 

The report shows the extent to which young people in Australia are suffering from mental distress due to different reasons. Therefore, to overcome the problem and reducing the percentage of young people going through the condition, the following processed can be applied by encouraging separate entities and communities associated with protecting young people from mental health issues.  

  • Schools require offering evidence-based global mental health mediation and prevention programs for youths. It needs extra funding from the Australian government to support the programs. 
  • Technology, which offers a substitute to direct service offering needs to be backed and invested in to satisfy the psychological health needs of the young Australians.
  • Family and friends will be encouraged to provide support to young people whenever they search help for their psychological condition.
  • Other volunteer organisations, which are concerned with the mental health of the young people of aboriginal and Torres strait islanders will be asked to improve the accessibility to age-specific and culturally sensitive mental health services.  
  • A gender method to the youth’s mental health is needed that considers help pursuing preferences and other social pressures such as principles of arrival and gender-based refinement.  


The project seeks to improve the quality and accessibility to mental health services offered to the young Australians experiencing psychological health problems. After going through the academic literature, polices and theoretical perspectives on the issue, it is found that the young people with mental health problem has been a serious issue and must be tackled strictly and comprehensively. 

Part B:

Instructions: Enter your responses in the sections below. Do not exceed the word limits for each part.  
1. Describe your organisation (the nature and focus of the activities of your organisation) Up to 80words.
I work as a social worker in Youth Action that supports 1.4 million young people by doing charity for youth development. The aim of the organisation is ensuring all young people have access to all the available and deserving opportunities so that they can engage in their communities actively, enjoy their lives and attain their potential. My organisation does this by delivering high-quality service throughout the region by our own direct youth work service and partnering with other institutions with a similar aim (Youthaction, 2019).
2. Name of your project. Up to 20 words 
Improving the mental health condition of young Australians with mental health illness
3. Aims and objectives of the proposed project (list in point form). Up to 150 words
The project aims to provide support to the young people in Newcastle experience psychological health issues by acquiring fund and support from the government, and other local organisations work for young people in the region.
  • To find out young people in Newcastle in need of mental health services
  • To work together with other agencies for improving the standard and access to mental health service for the young people in Newcastle including the native youths 
  • To raise funding for executing the project successfully
  • To gain the attention of the government toward the project for access to fund and support
  • To prevent and reduce mental health problems among young adults 
  • To encourage young people living and enjoying their life thoroughly by grabbing the deserving opportunities available to them and engaging in the community
  • To offer free mental health services to the young people for improving the overall quality of the society 
4. What city needs/issues does your project seek to address (include evidence for these needs/issues existing in the community)? Up to 200 words
An increased number of young children belong to 10-14 years age group are being brought to the Hunter hospitals due to psychological severe health concerns. They have developed self-harming attitudes, suicidal thoughts and intentional positioning. A reflective study revealed that in 2010-2014, the proportion of mental health-related demonstrations to NSW emergency departments was more significant for 15-19 years older adults. Doctors confirmed the influence of electronic devices and social media play a vital role in influencing the number of young adults are being admitted to the hospitals due to self-harmed injuries and suicidal attempts. For example, for the excessive use of social media, they are isolating themselves from families and peers, a significant reason for mental health concern among youths. It is found that young children of 10-14 years age are admitted to the hospital the most and the percentage were increased from 60% in 200-2010 to 78% in 2016-2017. However, it is good that these children are brought to the emergency department when needed, as it can help them overcome the situation by having the necessary medication and treatment. Children often have experienced and witnesses trauma that has caused an interruption in their vital relationships (Beaumont, 2019). 
5. How will the proposed project address the issues that your organisation has identified (include examples of similar projects that were successful in other contexts if available)? Up to 200 words. 
For addressing the issue, my organisation has taken some initiatives such as offering free mental health services to the young sufferers, so that the children and young people of the aboriginal group can also access the service at free of cost. However, it needs a sufficient amount of funding and for arranging this; my organisation is seeking support from other charitable organisations in the area and the government. We are trying to increase the number of volunteers and doctors so that that fast service can be offered to every young individual in need of mental care service. Further, my organisation is focused at encouraging schools and families to support their children during their trauma and helping them manage their distress so that they do not make any wrong move in their life such as self-harming and suicide. Counselling with the young people for explaining to them the negative impact of using social media, games and electronic devices excessively on their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing is essential for making them aware of their mental health and wellbeing. 
Besides, my organisations also trying to use technology for offering mental health services to the young people in their need by utilising peer education plans and peer support channels. 
6. What are the theoretical principles that underlie your proposed project, and how will these principles influence how the project is run/implemented? Up to 300 words.
Two theoretical perspectives that discussed in the previous sectors named attributional framework and implicit theories are relevant to the mental health issues of young people. The attributional method helps understanding the way negative thinking among young adults creates anxiety, depression and stress. It also influences their behaviour of thinking, talking and expressing their views.  Considering this concept, the project can be directed in such a way that helps in improving the thinking process of young people. The project, therefore, seeks to bring positivity among the young people by assisting them in identify and utilising the opportunities they have. It will improve their self-confidence and move their focus to a constructive activity from the use of social media and other devices (Mbuthia et al. 2018).
Further, the implicit theories helped in analysing the way young people with the thought that individual characteristics are static are more vulnerable to mental distress. Therefore, such young people need to be handled individually. For example, the Torres Strait islander needs culturally sensitive psychiatric care service that does not hurt their emotion to pertain to their culture. Apart from that, the theory also helped in understanding the importance of offering age and gender-specific care to young adults by identifying the specific reasons behind their illness. Young people need to be informed about the way they can gain new experience and upgrade their thoughts on different areas that will expand their thinking capacity and improve their mental health (Schleider, Abel & Weisz, 2015). 
The project, therefore, seeks to engage adolescents, their parents and other family members in the care planning, so that better mental health service can be provided to them. It focuses on collaborating with other social workers and agencies for identifying and uprooting issues affecting the mental health of young people. Thus, the project emphasises on gaining the attention of the government and other volunteer organisation toward the project, so that ability of young people can be enhanced in terms of speaking out about the issues that affect them and take necessary actions against them.