Articles Youth Survey 2021 Mission Australia
Youth Survey 2021 Mission Australia
Mission Australia’s Youth Survey has revealed young people in Tasmania view the environment as the most important issue facing Australia today.
Mission Australia’s State Director Mychelle Curran tells Dave the survey of 974, 15 to 19 year-olds shows the environment (55.0%), COVID-19 (37.6%) and mental health (36.3%) as Australia’s top issues of importance.
More than double the number of young people named the environment as the top issues compared to 20.9 percent in 2021.
The Youth Survey, now in its 20th year, was conducted between April and August.
Young people from Tasmania have ranked the environment and mental health in the top three issues of national concern for the past three years, while COVID-19 has continued to grow in importance since 2020.
A notably higher proportion of young people from Tasmania were extremely or very concerned about climate change (32.8%) than the national average (25.5%).
One 16 year old respondent to the survey put it like this: “[My biggest issue is] activism burnout – trying to fix all the problems in the world at such a young age and worrying about the future. I ended up feeling quite worthless because only the people in power can make a difference and little to no action is being done about these things – climate change, discrimination, First Nation Australian rights and so much more.”
Mission Australia’s State Director Mychelle Curran said: “Young people are showing they’re aware of and care about social, environmental and person issues affecting themselves, their peers and their country.”
“Now is a critical time to make sure young people are heard. Young people can and should create and advise on solutions that will address issues that affect them, other young people, and Australia. The Youth Survey is a way of amplifying the voices of young people, and they are telling us that they want to feel heard in political and decision-making processes.”
“These responses are given in the context of a growing movement for action on climate change as well as natural disasters and extreme weather events.
Ms Curran says these figures taken together with survey respondent comments show climate change is taking a psychological toll on young people across Australia.
“Concerns about the lack of action on climate change in Australia during the past several years has affected the mental health of young people. We should all be concerned about the impacts of this on young people, who are tomorrow’s workers, parents and carers,” Ms Curran said.
The findings contained in the Youth Survey Report 2021 also show close to half (46.7%) of Tasmanian young people felt there were barriers impacting on their achievement of their study or work goals.
The top three barriers impacting identified by Tasmanian young people impacting on the achievement of study or work goals were mental health (44.9%), academic ability (34.2%) and family responsibilities (19.8%).
Coping with stress (46.4%), mental health (45.1%) and school or study problems (34.9%) were the top three issues of personal concern for young people in Tasmania.
“On a positive note, our Youth Survey 2021 reveals cause for optimism in many respects, and that many young people are doing well while taking on life’s challenges.
“But we know that more must be done to ensure young people have ample opportunities to access education, employment and services when they need them. Regardless of a young person’s background, location or experience, access to appropriate support at the right time can be life changing,” Ms Curran said.
The results of the Youth Survey are shared with governments, non-government organisations, schools and the media to inform the debate around the circumstances of young people in Australia and to support the development of policies, services and programs that have the needs of young people at their core.
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