Silvana Izzo - It's not the kids

As a counsellor working with homeless teenagers, Silvana Izzo knows the importance of truly listening to their journeys.

She's able to give them faith in who they are and remind them to keep caring in order to make change in their lives.
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'It's not the kids': Silvana's Response Tips

Short term: Discuss the point of view of those 'trapped' in the youth poverty / mental health cycle with friends.

Medium term: Discuss the concept of cause and effect with a friend.

Longer term: Once again view the Australian film ‘Tom White’ and then imagine what the film would have been like had the main character been a child and not a successful architect.

Short term: Re-play 'It’s not the kids' and identify a key phrase or sentence that either Silv or Carl used; make it your email signature for the weeks surrounding mental health week.

Medium term: Each year advertise at your place of work or study when 'mental health week' is and or when National Youth Homelessness Awareness day is.

Longer term: Visit an organisation that works with children at risk. Talk to staff about the issues confront them and with their help draw up a petition to Government drawing attention to these issues.

Short term: Write a letter of support for all professionals working in the child / adolescent mental health fields to send to your local newspaper.

Medium term: Organise a 'white ribbon day' in your family, among your friends or at your place of work / study as so often violence against women is one of the causes that ultimately leads to stories such as Carl's.

Longer term: Show 'It’s not the kids' to any group that you are involved with (a P&C, Rotary Club, group of Uni friends etc) and lead a discussion on why we 'change' from a compassionate response to the child’s situation to a punitive response to the same 'story' but ten years on.

Short term: Go to your search engine and download the 'UN Convention on the rights of the child'.

Medium term: Write to all members of State Government about the central theme of 'It’s not the kids'; the change from compassion to punishment and request more resources be put into Mental Health for youth at risk.

Longer term: Research organisations within the community that are involved with youth at risk – especially those where mental illness is involved. Look for ways to volunteer with those organisations at whatever level and in whatever way you are capable of.

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