Kookaburra Kids partners with Bupa Foundation to launch ‘Regenerate’
Australian young people impacted by family mental illness to receive increased support following significant new funding.
Kookaburra Kids receives a significant boost as the Bupa Foundation comes on board as Principal Partner and provides $250,000 of funding for a new flagship nature-based program for young people impacted by family mental illness, Regenerate.
Delivered in cities throughout Australia in 2024, Regenerate is an emotionally and environmentally regenerative program for young people impacted by family mental illness that will see camps, activity days and online connect sessions delivered in 2024 – helping approximately 1,000 young people.
“We know approximately 23% of Australian children are living in families impacted by mental illness”, said CEO of Kookaburra Kids Renee Coffey. “That equates to around 1,000,000 Australian children.”
“Each day, we have families asking us for help – and when we have to turn young people away due to limited funding and program capacity it’s the most heart-breaking part of our work. That’s just one reason I am excited to welcome Bupa Foundation as a Principal Partner and to launch this innovative new nature-based program for young people.
“By being immersed in natural environments and environmental themes; and participating in Kookaburra Kids’ proven mental health literacy activities; young people will learn and have fun alongside their peers, all whilst experiencing the health benefits of being in natural environments” Renee said.
Recent research has shown young people born into families with mental illness are at an increased risk of developing mental health concerns later in life. New research released in 2023 revealed parents who experience depression are more likely than others to have children who develop the condition. In fact, there is a 42% higher risk of depression in children if their father is struggling with depression, and children with a mother battling depression are 3 to 4 times more likely to develop it themselves.”
Bupa Asia Pacific Chief Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Officer Roger Sharp said the new partnership with Kookaburra Kids reinforced Bupa’s commitment to helping young people live happy and healthy lives by interacting with nature.
“This innovative pre-early intervention initiative aims to empower young individuals impacted by family mental illness by providing them with unique opportunities to enhance their mental health, resilience, and environmental awareness,” Roger said.
This innovative pre-early intervention initiative aims to empower young individuals impacted by family mental illness by providing them with unique opportunities to enhance their mental health, resilience, and environmental awareness.
- Positive Physiological and Psychological Effects: The program seeks to expose young people to the positive physiological and psychological benefits of natural environments, fostering overall well-being.
- Mental Health Literacy: Through clinically designed camps, activity days and online Connect sessions, Regenerate will focus on improving young people's mental health literacy and normalising help-seeking behaviours, creating a supportive environment for them to address their mental health concerns.
- Environmental Volunteering: Collaboration with local environment groups, and council organisations will allow participants to engage in nature-based experiences, guided bush walks, and environmental activities.
- Tailored Mental Health Modules: Developed by expert clinicians, the program will feature tailored mental health and well-being modules to guide participants through the positive effects of natural environments on human health.
Collaboration and Impact
Kookaburra Kids will collaborate with local environmental organisations, ensuring participants receive a holistic experience that combines nature-based activities with mental health education. The program's overarching goal is to empower young people to thrive beyond the impacts of family mental illness and contribute to Australia's future environmental and overall health outcomes.
Regenerate Programs scheduled for the first half of 2024:
|23-25 March – ACT
6 April – VIC
1 June – Sydney
20 March – Earth Hour/Harmony Day
3rd April – World Health Day
15 May – Mental Health Awareness Week
5 June – World Environment Day
To participate in Regenerate, a referred young person must have a parent/caregiver or sibling with a mental illness. A full list of programs and to refer a young person visit this link.