CALM launch Bright Minds: Connected Communities suicide prevention program

Community Activities Lake Macquarie have been granted funding from the NSW Ministry of Health through the Suicide Prevention Fund, to deliver a 3 year suicide prevention program in the Lake Macquarie LGA. As an extension of the existing Bright Minds Project that was created by local young people, the Bright Minds: Connected Communities program will deliver three of the nine Lifespan strategies developed by the Black Dog Institute.

In partnership with the Lake Macquarie Suicide Prevention Network, Interrelate Connect and CAMHS Lake Macquarie, the project will link together multiple services to deliver:

  • FREE ASIST Suicide Intervention training and SafeTalk workshops to Teachers, Emergency Services workers and Youth Workers
  • The creation and distribution of prevention and post-vention information packs specifically for young people and indigenous community members
  • The delivery of youth led Workshops for High School students and follow up focus groups from mental health professionals


The project is due to commence in mid July 2017 and concludes in June 2020.

For more information contact Bradley Dunn at CALM on 49503811 or email

How To Keep Young People Safe Online

For all the benefits to mental health a digital world can bring, such as a sense of belonging and information and support for those with problems, there are also myriad dangers associated with online activity. In the very worst cases, people have live-streamed their suicide and had people cheer them on in the comments section.


Fore more information click here

20 Amazing Benefits Of Hugging According To Science

Over the centuries, various forms of interpersonal touch have become less common, influenced by changes in cultural values and new technology. Nowadays, with twenty four hour access to mobiles, texting and email, many people spend more time interacting with their technology than they do with each other. This lack of touch has many effects on different aspects of our lives, and can lead to feelings of loneliness, isolation and insecurity.

So why is touch so important to us? We typically think of touch as a pleasant, but not very important part of life. But touch plays an integral role in our daily experiences. It influences what we buy, what we eat, who we love, and even how we heal. We use our sense of touch to gather information about our environment and to establish social bonds with each other.

Multiple studies have concluded that touch, especially hugging, provides numerous health benefits. If you’re looking for a great way to boost your immune system, reduce your stress, improve your sleep and even help cure depression, you need to consider hugging. Hugs have no side effects and require no prescription. Even better, they’re free and can be given and received anywhere, at any time.

Here are 20 great reasons why you should hug and allow yourself to be hugged every single day.


Fore more information click here

Exploring The Various Types Of Anxiety And Depression

Mental health is an area that is finally getting some attention as a real and serious health issue, though we still have so far to go. Part of removing the stigma around mental health is understanding the various types of disorders people can be diagnosed with.

There are many disorders, both under the anxiety and depression categories, and many iterations of each. Here is a look at some of the types of both anxiety and depression and how they vary.


For more information click here

Doctor Issues Warning Over Mindfulness Apps Offering ‘Quick Fix’

Doctors are warning about the risks of relying on smartphone mindfulness apps, offering meditation and breathing exercises, for your mental health.

The apps have become some of the most popular downloads, offering everything from improved creativity to pain relief.

But Dr Quinn Grundy, a postdoctoral researcher with the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, has been investigating some of the apps that are among the most popular of their kind.

“We noticed that apps are promising consumers quick, easy, effortless and often instant solutions, to what they’re framing as their health issues,” she said.

“So we’d see things like, ‘in just ten minutes you’ll sleep better’, or ‘just listen, the app will do the rest and your anxiety will be gone’, or ‘track your mood everyday and your symptoms will improve’.”

And she said that such quick-fix pledges could be damaging to those seeking help.

“If your app has promised that you’ll get better really easily and really quickly and you don’t, consumers shouldn’t feel like there’s something wrong with them,” Dr Grundy said.


For more information click here

How to Support Teens in Distress


Upcoming Events

Discussing Sexual Health with Young People

This workshop aims to develop participants’ understanding, skills and confidence in addressing health issues with young people.

When:18 July 2017, 9.00am-4.30pm

Where: Auburn Community Health, Auburn

Cost: Free

Learning outcomes:

  • Increase understanding of the sexual health needs of young people at risk
  • Increase knowledge of STI’s and blood-borne viruses and their impact on young people
  • Establish links between youth workers and local health services

Increase confidence in incorporating resources into your work with young people

Follow the link to register

Generation Next: Mental Health and Wellbeing of Young People

The Generation Next Mental Health and Wellbeing of Young People Seminar on Friday, 4th August at Sydney Town Hall is ideally suited for frontline professionals in the education, community and health sectors that work directly with young people as well as parents. It provides the most up-to-date information and addresses topical issues such as youth depression, anxiety, anger and aggression as well as practical strategies to improve wellbeing, respond better to emerging mental health concerns and provide effective mental health first aid.

For more information, follow this link.

See More Events

Interagency Meetings

These meetings are open for any interested parties

2017 Maitland Youth Interagency Meetings

See the calendar here, and for information on this meeting click here

2017 Dungog Shire Youth Interagency Meetings

See the calendar here, and for more information on this meeting click here

2017 Maitland Networking Lunches

These Lunches are a partnership between the Maitland Youth Interagency & the Maitland General Interagency, and are open for any youth or community worker, group, volunteer, organisation or community member. See the calendar here.


Actions Planning & Partnerships

Maitland Youth Partnerships & Planning Session

The Maitland Annual Planning Session is a fun, interactive day held each year. This is a chance to have your say about local young people & youth services and discuss issues of relevance or concern. Partnerships are developed during this day and plans put in place to ensure that young people in Maitland are receiving the best service.

Please SAVE THE DATE: Maitland High School, Friday 3 March 2017, 09:30am-1:30pm

See the flyer here, register for free here

According to participants, last year’s event “Increased collaboration with other services in delivering groups, knowledge of referral pathways” and ” It will help to directly influence the planning for our team around how we work with and support local young people in Maitland”

Dungog Youth Partnerships & Planning Session

The Dungog Shire Annual Planning Session is a fun, interactive day held each year. This is a chance to have your say about local young people & youth services and discuss issues of relevance or concern. Partnerships are developed during this day and plans put in place to ensure that young people in Dungog are receiving the best service.

Please SAVE THE DATE: Paterson School of Arts, Wednesday 22 February 2017, 10:00am-1:30pm

See the flyer here, and register for free here.

According to participants, last year’s event provided “opportunities to collaborate and work together with other services to assist them in service delivery”

Online Youth Sector Survey

To enhance service delivery to young people in Maitland & Dungog, I am committed to regularly consulting with others about what they see in their roles.

I feel that you are in a well-placed position to share knowledge and advice about the local needs and priorities for young people & youth sector workers in Maitland/Dungog.

The results of the survey will be shared with you in a fun infographic, so you can gain an understanding of what’s going on for local young people and youth sector workers. Some of the information will be used to inform future training, meetings and opportunities for you in your role.

All questions are anonymous and optional, feel free to include as much or as little information as you would like.

The deadline for this survey is Friday 17 February 2017. Although this sounds like a little while off, why not just take some time now?

Do you cover the Maitland LGA? Complete the Maitland survey

Do you cover the Dungog Shire? Complete the Dungog survey


Maitland Service Directories

Maitland Community Directory:

The Lifeline Service Finder:


Maitland City Library – What’s On:

Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG) – What’s On:

My Maitland – What’s On:

Dont forget to also check out the RYDON/HSNet Service Directory on the homepage of this website.

RYDON Newsletter