EACH has launched a Youth Technology Project to help young people, families and service organisations manage issues associated with modern technology use and mental health.
The Project aims to support young people and their families struggling with tech use, while also preventing the development of gambling risks later in life. Supported technology use includes smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles, PCs; gaming, social media and internet addiction.
Support is provided through counselling, group workshops and parent support at EACH’s Ringwood health centre. The Project balances support, therapy, psychology and education. In addition to the counselling, the Project’s lead Jeremy Shub also offers presentations to community groups like parents, youth services or schools all over Melbourne.
Tony and his mother Lisa (not their real names) have been receiving assistance through the Project at EACH. Tony who is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, was referred to Jeremy for counselling, education and support after his mother had discovered that Tony has been accessing inappropriate content on his IPad.
With the support of Jeremy, they have since reflected on teenager development, healthy sexuality, cyber safety, social media, identity theft; and most importantly relationships between families and friends.
“With Tony starting high school there was a rigorous conversation about the platforms that young people use to connect and how this might be beneficial or detrimental. Tony has needed to explicitly learn to be a healthy Net citizen,” said Jeremy Shub lead Project Manager from the EACH Youth & Family team.
Subsequently, Tony and Lisa have a better understanding of healthy technology use and are confidant in having an open conversations about challenging issues.
“Jeremy was able to help explain options for both myself and my son and unpack some of the confusion/language that I as a parent struggle with. I think in simple terms I would say it was an education session that resulted in better understanding, hence better communication, hence better relationships,” said Lisa, after time spent with Jeremy.
“The demand for support of this nature has been unprecedented and really shows how services need to adapt to keep pace with the changing pressures on families in the digital age and to think long term about how complex issues such as gambling develop in the modern world,” said Peter Ruzyla, CEO of EACH.
Participants of the Project, which include people with serious depression, Aspergers, anxiety and social phobia – claim the online world to be self-soothing, but are unable to strike a balance with the real world.
For further information on the Project please contact Jeremy Shub on (03) 9871 2638 or at Jeremy.firstname.lastname@example.org.