On Monday (Feb 10), the National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, launched her final National Children’s Rights Report. It’s sobering reading, and a reminder to all that children and young people are among our most vulnerable. The report makes clear that the mental health of Australian children is not being cared for sufficiently and that Governments must do more to ensure children’s wellbeing.
Commissioner Mitchell said: “Not only do children require better access to mental health services, but they also need earlier intervention and higher quality care.” Megan Mitchell’s outstanding term as Commissioner, to protect the rights of all children in Australia to be safe and healthy, is coming to an end this year, and unfortunately, the role itself may no longer be funded. With 5.5 million children (under 18s), and 48,000 of them in care, many of the organisations at the launch, including the Y, must strive to ensure all children and young people are safe and feel safe, valued, heard and respected at the Y, in their families and their communities. A young person can only be inspired if they feel safe.
We at the Y in Australia share the Commissioner’s concerns regarding the wellbeing of children and young people in Australia and are aware we must continue to find ways to amplify the voices of children and young people on issues that affect their lives, and stand with and for them.
Photo above: Dianne McDonald, Executive, YMCA Australia, attended the launch in Sydney, with Megan Mitchell, Children's Commissioner.