‘Obliged to help’: David Gyngell sounds alarm over mental health crisis in Northern Rivers

Recently Human Nature was mentioned in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald written by Heath Gilmore and Catherine Naylor. The article was highlighting the youth mental health crisis we’re facing in the Northern Rivers, saying that, “For some children and young people, the initial impact of the record-breaking disaster is now metastasising into a black hole of despair: homelessness or insecure housing, escalating alcohol or drug use, family breakdowns and sundry human frailties are dragging them into places that no-one should occupy.”

This is something that we are seeing on a daily basis and with the increasing number of young people being referred to us for mental health support. Numbers that we simply can’t keep up with.

We are grateful for the funding we received in the immediate aftermath that helped us increase our capacity in the short term but that funding is soon to expire and we know that the problems we are seeing will need significant ongoing solutions.

It’s encouraging to hear that the state and federal government are committing more money towards mental health and well-being programs in the region but as the article points out, the difficulty is reaching those who won’t or can’t use these services. This is where Human Nature comes in.

Andy Hamilton, our Founder and Therapeutic Lead was interviewed for the article and said, “We take only the most at-risk young people, the ones who won’t or can’t deal with any conventional clinical therapy. It’s not just taking them out into nature because it makes them feel good, we have trained and registered mental health professionals essentially giving them the support in an environment where the clients are emotionally and psychologically comfortable for us to work with them. We are working at the pointy end. Often there is nothing else for them.

For the last five years young people in this area have dealt with a 2017 flood, then bushfires, two years of COVID lockdowns and then the biggest flood on record, now it’s pushing some over the edge.”

Read the full article here.

We’d like to say a big thank you to David Gyngell and Sydney Morning Herald Journalists Heath Gilmore and Catherine Naylor for spreading the word about Human Nature and the important work that we’re doing.

Want to see more?

Want to get involved?