Local teen's 'powerful' message makes national news
LATEST: CURTIS Cloake's campaign pushing for better access to mental therapy for young people has continued to pick up momentum with the Byron Bay teenager spreading his message through multiple media interviews including with ABC's triple j.
He has also been contacted by many people through social media, sharing their stories, and urging him to push on with his campaign to bring down youth suicide rates.
"When you are passionate about something and you speak from your own experience it puts out a very powerful and positive message," Mr Cloake said.
He remains committed to getting his Change.org petition into the hands of Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt and persuading the government to provide free psychology and psychiatric services to every young person in Australia, including remote areas.
Original story: A BYRON bay teenager has rallied nearly 50,000 people to sign his Change.org petition calling for better access to mental health therapy for young Australians.
Eighteen-year-old Curtis Cloake's petition has also attracted support from Richmond MP Justine Elliot who has written directly to the Health Minister, Greg Hunt about the issue and forwarded Curtis' petition.
"I am so happy that this request for change has resonated with people and that it's opened up a conversation and some light has been shed on the issue," Mr Cloake said.
"My aim is to bring down the shocking rates of youth suicide, depression and anxiety by getting the government to step up and do more.
"I myself am suffering from severe anxiety which has stopped me doing a lot of things and I even dropped out of Uni this year as a result of my mental health.
"I tried medication, but it wasn't for me instead regular sessions with a psychologist are making a huge difference to my mental health.
"However I am struggling to afford my ongoing psychology appointments.
"I've spoken to so many people my age who are also struggling with their mental health and also can't afford ongoing care. That's why I am calling for better access to therapy for young Australians.
"There has been a dramatic increase in the number of young people presenting at Australian hospital Emergency Departments for self-harm, stress and anxiety, mood, behavioural and emotional disorders.
Mr Cloake said the Australian Government needs to re-address the crisis of mental health in Australian youth, especially young people in rural and regional areas.
"We need to provide free psychology and psychiatric services to every young person in Australia, including remote areas."
Ms Elliot praised Curtis for his, "strong advocacy in starting this very important campaign on change.org".
"We desperately need to have more mental health services & support for young people in our regional areas.
"We all have to work together to get more mental health services for our young people in regional areas. It's up to all of us to get involved if we are to make a real difference."
To support Curtis go to: Cutis Cloake Petiton