Official Opening of the Emotional Health Unit at the Mater Young Adult Health Centre
Chairman of the Mater Group, Mr Terry Crawford; Chief Executive Officer of the Mater Group Dr Peter Steer, Chief Executive of Mater Health, Mr Sean Hubbard, distinguished guests, medical practitioners, health unit staff, ladies and gentlemen.
I begin immediately by acknowledging the traditional owners of the lands on which we gather, the Turrbul and Jagera people, and pay respect to their Elders past and present, with encouragement to their young emerging leaders. Thank you Uncle Sam for your Welcome to Country.
My wife Kaye and I visited the Mater recently. We were most impressed by its enlightened while stable approach to the delivery of health services, and this initiative epitomises that approach.
I am sure I’m not alone when I say that being here today is a source of tremendous satisfaction.
I would like to pay tribute to a courageous young woman whose legacy will affect generations of Queenslanders to come: Amanda Flynn.
In remembering Amanda, we also express our immense gratitude to Dr Peter Steer and the Flynn family, for their generosity and enormous compassion. Thank you.
Like too many Australian families, the Flynns lost their beautiful child to mental illness.
The statistics are, as you know, beyond alarming. In fact, they are almost incomprehensible:
Half of all lifelong mental health problems begin before the age of 14; over 75% of mental health problems occur before the age of 25; one in seven young people aged 4 to 17 experience a mental health condition in any given year; Suicide rates among young people are at the highest they have been for over a decade, and now account for around one-third of all deaths in those aged 15 to 24.
As adults such numbers seem overwhelming, even demoralising.
But today, as we open the doors to a place fully committed to the emotional wellbeing of our young people, we feel hope.
As the only private inpatient mental health facility in Queensland catering for the 16 – 25-year age group, this clinic is ready to help vulnerable young Queenslanders find the help they need.
In addition, the ‘Recovery College’ and the ongoing, individualised treatment and support options this clinic will provide are invaluable gifts.
To experience mental illness, or to witness its impact on your children or loved ones is immensely painful.
We acknowledge that young adults face pressures today that offer new challenges to their emotional wellbeing.
And we recognise that, until now, services dedicated to this age group have been limited. This new clinic draws a line in the sand.
Thanks to the ongoing efforts of many dedicated professionals, individuals and organisations such as Clear Thinking Queensland, of which I am proud Patron, we are here today, ready to change the statistics.
There is no time to wait.
Our future is, quite literally depending on it.
It is therefore my pleasure to officially open the Mater Emotional Health Unit, and to wish all who visit here a safe and healthy journey to recovery.