It’s International Youth Day

August 4, 2023

International Youth Day this year is 12 August. This is a time when we can really focus on the issues that challenge Australia’s youth and consider viable solutions and ways forward.

At CatholicCare, we have a range of resources and services available that help nurture Australia’s young people.

Alarming statistics concerning Australia’s youth

In recent years, there has been an alarming trend emerging in Australia. In five years, Australian youth saw a 5.5% increase in mental health issues. This statistic means that almost one in four Australians under the age of 15 has experienced mental health challenges.

The suicide rates are also climbing with an estimated 12.2 for every 100,000 Australians dying by suicide. Over one-third of the 3,046 deaths by suicide in 2018 were young Australian’s under 15 years of age. Societal pressure, depression, anxiety and turbulent home lives were all contributing factors in the sharp rise.

There are just under 200,00 homeless youth in Australia, according to a 2019 report – and alarming number of children are unable to meet their basic needs. Homeless youth have a greater chance of getting into trouble, failing their education and having growth gaps in their emotional and mental health. These areas can impact them for the rest of their lives.

Finally, the number of youth in juvenile detention centres throughout Australia on any given night hovers around 980. Of these 980 people, 84% are between the ages of 10 and 17. There are more unsentenced youth in these detention centres than sentenced ones, and the majority of them will end up back in detention after they get out.

These statistics highlight how vital it is for youth in Australia to have supports and systems in place to make good choices and succeed. This is where CatholicCare’s programs and resources come in.

What is CatholicCare doing?

  • Our DAYSS program is brilliant. DAYSS stands for Drug & Alcohol Youth Support ServicesA free and confidential service for 12 – 24 year olds in the Northern Beaches area, it empowers young people to create positive change in their own lives and communities. We offer one-on-one support and work with young people experiencing substance abuse or immediately surrounded and effected by use. We also offer after care support and assist parents and families. Our drug and alcohol education programs in schools help warn kids of the dangers of getting involved with alcohol and drugs, what can happen and how it can impact their lives. DAYSS also delivers a range of outreach services including street work, support at youth events, drug and alcohol school education programs and presentations. We also lead a youth advisory group.
  • We provide a range of children and youth counselling options from art, play and sand therapies to group work to deal with trauma, grief and loss, family breakdown and domestic and family violence.
  • Our KEYS program helps young parents aged 16 – 24 years who are homeless, or at risk of being homeless – offering accommodation assistance and a range of other supports.
  • CatholicCare offers a Residential Care program for youth who can’t live at home due to family violence or unsafe living conditions. We make sure each young person has the support, stability and care they need to succeed into adulthood.
  • We also have our foster care program. Getting kids out of dangerous or unstable living situations and into loving supportive foster families is our top priority. We’ll walk you through the application process if you want to become a foster carer, answer your questions and get you ready for this life-changing and very rewarding process.

For more information please call CatholicCare on 1800 324 924 or email or visit


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