PCYC NSW and Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation are joining forces to support youth mental health across Newcastle, the Hunter and regional NSW.
The partnership was announced at PCYC Newcastle on Tuesday 20 April, launching the organisation’s GRIT (Growth-mindset Resilience Intervention for Teenagers) program in the region.
Statistics show one in four young Australians live with a mental illness and one in three experience moderate to high level of psychological distress.
“The GRIT program integrates specific mental resilience skills training, with nutrition education and physical fitness,” PCYC NSW CEO Dominic Teakle said.
The initiative is being piloted among 12-to-18-year-olds in 2021 and has been co-designed with young people and youth mental health matter experts.
“It will complement the NSW Police Commissioner’s RISEUP strategy to reconnect disengaged youth to family, education, culture, employment and community,” Mr Teakle said.
To mark its milestone 500th project, Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation is investing $125,000 to support PCYC to launch and pilot GRIT in regional NSW.
“We’ve had a long-standing partnership with PCYC in the Newcastle and Hunter area, and across regional NSW,” Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Board chair Jennifer Leslie said.
“In fact, they were one of the first organisations to receive a grant from us 17 years ago.
“So, we couldn’t think of a better organisation or program to bestow our 500th funding grant on.
“For the PCYC program to make an even bigger impact on improving youth mental health in the region, more funds are needed.
“This is why the Charitable Foundation and PCYC are calling on local residents, businesses, sports teams and community groups to match our donation through getting sponsored to enter the Star Jump Challenge.”
Individuals and groups are encouraged to commit to star jumping every day during Youth Week (April 16-24) and into May to raise vital funds for youth mental health.
“It’s a fun and easy way to improve your fitness while helping the Charitable Foundation and PCYC support youth mental health,” Ms Leslie said.
“You don’t need to be super fit or a star jump champion to get involved and make a difference.
“Every single star jump and dollar raised will help Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation and PCYC to raise further funds and awareness about this intervention focused youth mental health initiative.”
Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation executive officer Graham Batten, employees, families and friends have already joined the cause, alongside a host of local PCYC clubs and personalities including boxer Tim Tszyu, Sydney Kings basketballers, former NRL footballer Mark Geyer and Paralympian swimmer Ellie Cole.
“I’ve already clocked up 2000 star jumps and others in our team are aiming for hundreds a day,” Mr Batten said.
“I’d love the community to sign up or donate to help us raise enough funds to match our $125,000 Charitable Foundation pledge, so that we can really see the GRIT program expand its reach and positive impact on the mental health of our local youth.”
More than 1000 people have already signed up to star jump through Youth Week and help match the funds donated by the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation to accumulate funding for GRIT.
“We are delighted Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation is supporting the Star Jump Challenge to help amass vitally-needed resources for GRIT, PCYC’s new life-changing mental health initiative,” Mr Teakle said.
“Never before have so many teenagers, and pre-teenagers experienced anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges.
“By adding a mental wellness program into PCYCs across NSW, we will be able to help young people build resilience and grit, and an optimistic approach to daily life.”
For further details on the PCYC Star Jump Challenge, how to sign up, and the GRIT pilot program, visit https://www.starjumpchallenge.org.au/