Michael Carr-Gregg

Michael is a well know and widely respected authority on wellness in young people we were fortunate to listen to a keynote presentation by him at iPadPaloozaGC.

His website 

He started talking about the findings from the annual Mission Australia Survey in which the data shows a worrying trend each year.  This survey collects information on what young australians are worried about.

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15 000 students are surveyed each year.

Their biggest problem is coping with stress

And when they are stressed, their learning is impaired.   This fact is undeniable.

He asked us to think about what we are doing about conflict resolution, anger management as schools – what are we doing to educate students about how to deal with these things.

A picture of student in Yr 12

30% are depressed

41% are stressed

18% are suicidal

  • Do students know the difference between sadness vs depression?  We need to raise their awareness of emotional coping strategies.
  • Mission Australia – Youth Survey showed that over 60% of our young people don’t know how to cope with stress.

Rates of suicide

Latest figures – 2864  suicided             60 000 thinking about it

Suicide rates – highest in 13 yrs

Suicide accounts for over one third of deaths in this age group.

Girls – 50% increase in 15-24 age suicide rates

The cost of supporting people with a mental illness  is enormous.

ANSWER:

Shift to a 21st century model of health

Give them the skills and strategies to manage their well-being

Technology matters to young people and so we need to leverage it.

  • Face-time – the most confidential way to have a conversation
  • It provides them with the flexibility and confidentiality
  • It is the way they communicate
  • Their worlds are seamless
  • Their real work is both off and online.
  • Teenagers check their phones on an average  56 times a day – once every 15 mins.
  • 9 out of 10 teenagers use their phone when they spend quality time with their parents.
  • 7 out of 10 – mates

This does not mean that there aren’t dangers and we have to acknowledge the dangers and educate them.   Let’s stop demonising technology however.  It is too much an integral part of their lives.  What we have is an unprecedented opportunity to manage kids.

Office of Children’s eSafety Commission

iParent – great resources for parents.

Case Study   How might we use technology to enhance the well-being of a student on the gold coast?

  • Case study student presents as anxious and has taken cannabis, her anxiety interferes with everything.

Single greatest predictor of well being in young females – friendship

  • Admits she is a perfectionist.
  • Physical manifestations – dry mouth, not sleeping, anxious, won’t stay asleep, can’t concentrate
  • Diagnosis – Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Treatment:

  1. Make sure she is educated about her disorder.     3 different ways to do this.

    And then start dealing with her problems:

1. Sleep (9 hrs)  They need this.  Single most important.   Psycoeducation in sleep.

  •  He will send her information about sleep and provide infographics.   
  • Show  her a TED talk by Geogie Prof Russell
  • Use an app ‘Recharge’ which teaches them about the importance of sleep.
  • Use an app Snorelab – to monitor snoring

2.  Breakfast – most teenagers don’t eat breakfast and they are incapable of learning if they have not had breakfast and haven’t slept.

  • he sends her information on the importance of having breakfast
  • he lets her know about the mood/foodl ink
  • he gets her using an app for the mediterranean diet.

3.  Anxiety

Interesting to think about what the research is saying about meditation.   Harvard Uni took volunteers through this program and they spent 27 mins a day on it.  The scans documented improvements in grey matter in the hippocampus and this is the area of the brain associated with stress.

4.  Exercise – personal trainers via an app.  Couch to 5 k

Zombies, Run – for boys

5.   Frienship (as she is worried about how her friends are).

Use The Check-In  app – YouthBeyondBlue

6.    Cannabis – Clear Your Vision

14.   App – Icope

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