On Monday 3 April during National Youth Week (31 March-9 April), Mission Australia will launch its annual Youth Survey (2017) and will urge young people to actively express their thoughts, concerns and aspirations.

With nearly 22,000 participants having their say last year, Mission Australia hopes to surpass that record in 2017 as the community service organisation launches its 16th annual Youth Survey. The survey is open to 15-19 year olds until the end of July.

Mission Australia CEO Catherine Yeomans said she encouraged young people across the nation to undertake Australia’s largest annual nationwide poll of young people.

We value the views of Australian young people. By checking in annually to find out what’s really going on in their lives, it means organisations like ours have access to up-to-date evidence so we can advocate on their behalf for the services and broader policy changes that they need, and that are proven to work.

“A vast number of schools, community youth groups, sporting teams, community service organisations and church groups take part in the Youth Survey every year. This year, we encourage more schools and groups to come on board and participate. The more people that get involved, the more inclusive, insightful and representative of the broader youth community the results will be,” said Ms Yeomans.

In 2016, the top three issues identified by young people as most important in Australia today were alcohol and drugs and equity and discrimination, with mental health entering the top three for the first time in the 15 year history of reporting. Concerns about mental health have doubled since 2011. In the survey, young people continue to nominate coping with stress, school or study problems and body image as their top three issues of personal concern. Mental health issues were also increasingly identified as personal concerns for young people.

Each year, the Youth Survey provides a valuable snapshot of young Australians and offers many important insights that inform Mission Australia’s work and that of other community groups as well as Government decision making.

Mission Australia’s 2017 Youth Survey is open to all Australian young people aged 15-19 years old.

To take part in the survey, go to missionaustralia.com.au/youthsurvey. Share the word using #YouthSurvey2017

The survey closes on 31 July 2017, with results to be analysed and released before the end of the year.

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