Recovery oriented mental health services are the way forward in effective rehabilitation for consumers. A movement away from the medical model in which medication treats symptoms of an underlying cause or trauma is now understood to be largely insufficient in terms of truly effective treatment.
Zoe Horner is a Perth based Occupational Therapist who graduated from Curtin University in 2015. After returning from London, Miss Horner has turned her focus to her calling and passion for youth mental health prevention as she believes early intervention and is key for making lasting positive change in shaping the future trajectory of young peoples lives.
Zoe believes that a new vision of hope, seeing unique challenging experiences as something to accept and embrace without judgment rather than trying to suppress or eradicate symptoms is a useful paradigm shift. Mental health consumers are the experts of their own experience and have a lot to teach the world about their unique perspective.
As a child with Attention Deficit disorder and social anxiety, Zoe faced many challenges moving through the traditional education system. Zoe was accepted into her desired course at Curtin, which explored neuroscience and led her to her lightbulb moment: the discovery of the concept of 'Neuroplasticity' - the idea that the brain can change itself through exposure to new environments and new training.
In May 2019, Treasured Youth Co (TYC) was born to solve the current problems within the mental health delivery to youth. Zoe interviewed many Perth based youth who explained that although there are more mental health intives in schools, they are often being delivered in a very 'deadpan' way by teachers that are often not passionate or well versed in the subject. As a result of the latter, "young people are not taking the class seriously and will often laugh in class which further serves to perpetuate the stigma". Treasured Youth Co asked young people how we could together overcome the problems within mental health delivery and young people said "We need to find a way to make mental health more engaging and we need to find a way that improved mental health outcomes are achieved as the bi-product of engaging young people in activities that promote connection, belonging and meaningful friendships".
Treasured Youth Co aims to utilize a holistic approach to mental health utilizing Occupational Therapy to provide youth with the tools that were not readily available in her childhood education in which TYC services will dovetail into clinical services that will manage more significant mental health issues presenting in young people.
Treasured Youth Co's creative, youth mental health Inaugural Event
Mind-Treasure Jan 28th - 30th 2020
WA youth joined top inspirational leaders and speakers with a lived experience of significant hardship and learned how they overcame and triumphed every challenge. Treasured Youth Co was very grateful to have speakers such as Julian Pace from the Happiness Co, Matt Vapor from Beneath the Surface, young talented indigenous artist Kobi Morrsion, Gary May from DKM and also Kai Lovel who is now hosting the first TED-x Youth event in Perth. We also thank Sandra Hoffman and Katrin from Laughter Skills who lit up the stage with the laughter yoga as well as the incredible CCCSF Theatrical Response Group for the value they added to Mind-Treasure 2020.