HELP THEM OPEN UP: Tricia and Tasos Barounis, whose son Yanni took his own life.
HELP THEM OPEN UP: Tricia and Tasos Barounis, whose son Yanni took his own life. Blake Antrobus

Wide Bay MP endorses proposal aimed at tackling teen suicide

A MARYBOROUGH teen's tragic death has led to a push for mental health education in Queensland schools.

During the LNP State Convention in Brisbane, Maryborough LNP member Lloyd Maddern moved a resolution calling on an incoming LNP State Government to include mental health education sessions for all staff and students in Years 7 to 12.

He said education should include a reporting requirement in all schools at the first sign of any relevant behaviours or signs of depression.

The motion was prompted in part by the recent tragic death of Maryborough teen Yannis Barounis.

The 17-year-old son of Tricia and Tasos Barounis died late last year, prompting his parents to become warriors in the fight against teen suicide and reducing the stigma of mental health - and the rest of the community has joined the fight as well.

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien endorsed the proposal to have mental health education included in the school curriculum as well as reporting of mental health concerns.

The motion was passed after a robust debate.

This forms an in-principle agreement that when the LNP next forms State Government in Queensland, the proposal will be implemented.

Mrs Barounis delivered a moving speech in support of the motion.

Yannis' father Tasos has created a website, letitoutnow.com.au and app called Let It Out Now, aimed at helping teens release their emotions via confidential recordings.

Mr Barounis said tech-savvy young people may find it easier to talk to the privacy of their phone rather than a real person, without fearing reactions or judgement.

The recordings could also be played back to a friend or carer if they chose to share them.

Mr Barounis attended the conference in Brisbane in support of the motion, and hopes a collaborative approach will help prevent further tragedies.

If this story has raised any issues for you, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.



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