Young people are going to rule this world one day, and they need to be heard and appreciated. And there's no better place to do that than the place you live.

–Alishia Francis, The REACH Foundation

Taking action is good for young people's mental health. Not only do young people support their local community, but they also build social connection with purpose.

That's why for the past two years, we've been running the Youth in Action project, a collaboration between YACVic, The Reach Foundation and four LGAs funded by VicHealth.

The project was initially funded in 2020 and aimed to improve mental wellbeing via positive social connections among a diverse group of up to 300 young people in four local LGAs across Victoria: Greater Shepparton, Wellington Shire, Nillumbik and Swan Hill Rural City Council.

Working collaboratively with the REACH Foundation and the four local LGAs, we ran a series of workshops which brought young people together to build connection with purpose, and give young people skills and confidence to engage with local government, community groups and media, undertake advocacy or even run for office.

They learned together, built understanding, empathy and social connection, and collectively used their skills to deliver a project that gives them a greater voice in their communities, and a greater sense of control over their lives, which is a strong protective factor in mental wellbeing.

Thanks to Sale College, Wellington Shire's Youth Services team, Wellington Shire Youth Council and REACH Foundation for being part of the film alongside YACVic CEO, Katherine Ellis and YACVic Young Peer Facilitator, Tom Saxton.

The film was produced by Momentum Studios Australia.

Find out more about YACVic's training and services here