Focus on positives

Midwest Times
Children at Yulga Jinna Remote Community School sing a song about life.
Camera IconChildren at Yulga Jinna Remote Community School sing a song about life. Credit: Supplied

Students from a Murchison school have been writing and singing songs to increase and sustain their happiness levels.

The students from Yulga Jinna Remote Community School, about 130km north of Meekatharra, have been working with staff from suicide prevention group Youth Focus.

The group spearheaded the project to curb the number of suicides.

The latest Youth Focus figures show 51 people aged between 15 and 24 died by suicide in WA in 2017 and one in four young Australians has poor mental health.

Aboriginals are reportedly five times more likely than non-indigenous Australians to take their own lives.

Youth Focus staffer Delroy Bergsma said one of their contributions to the Murchison was to help students produce a song named Yulga Jinna Kid, featuring things they like to do away from school.

“Music is a powerful outlet from a mental health perspective,” Mr Bergsma said. “This song was born out of a willingness by the young people at Yulga Jinna to share their community with us, but it is also an important tool that helps open up the channels of communication.”

Youth Focus outreach in the Murchison was first funded to the tune of $345,000 by the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA), but is now supported by the Royal Flying Doctor Service WA, which is providing $206,500 this financial year.

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