Danny, 19, NSW

“I wish the government knew how bad our society is at actually understanding mental health issues. Despite around one in five Australians confronting the difficulties of a mental illness in any given year, there is very little formal education on what these illnesses might be and on the different ways they can manifest.

I say this not as someone who has all the answers and wishes everyone else would catch up; I say this as someone who constantly feels lost, scared and terrifyingly ignorant as to what is going on in my own head.

Ending the stigma is only the first step – I wish the government knew that there is a big difference between not recoiling in fear and shame at the words “mental illness,” and actually having the confidence to confront your own mental health and be there for other people trying to understand theirs. Unfortunately, it seems like we, as a society, are still struggling to even take that first step.”