Ballarat Community Health CEO Sean Duffy is fully behind Thursday evening's 'So What Now?' online presentation to assist Ballarat's young adults.
The free forum could be a blessing for those struggling with their mental wellbeing or those who know of others struggling.
"It's another mechanism of providing people with people's lived experience," Mr Duffy said.
Mr Duffy believes the panel members' candid discussions around the challenges young people face will be advantageous.
"We are working on strategies to break down the barriers to have these types of conversations," Mr Duffy said.
"We hope, with the online forum, anyone can sit there, listen, and take it in. That might be the catalyst for certain people to seek help or seek help for someone else."
As Ballarat moves away from lockdowns, young people will encounter difficult situations, according to Mr Duffy.
"If you think about some of the external pressures, accommodation's never been more expensive. If you are a young person trying to get into the market, it's extremely challenging," he said.
However, there are also beneficial features for youths living in the region.
"We've got some positives with pathways in education and keeping people connected in schools, a good TAFE system, and a good higher education system," Mr Duffy said.
Mr Duffy acknowledges there remains much to be done in the coming period. The perception of mental illness needs to be modified.
"There's still quite a stigma," Mr Duffy said.
"We need to get it to the point that we have the same types of conversations than when we're talking about any other condition."
In addition, greater emphasis needs to be placed on education.
"We need to increase the education of young people at a very early age to equip them with the skills and abilities to help themsleves with their own resilience, their own coping skills, and skills in stress reduction," Mr Duffy said.
"Primary school is the starting point, how we can concentrate on our own self worth.
"If you get into the early years of secondary school, they're the critical years in building up those skills in young people, but also building up the skills in recognising where other people are struggling."
Mr Duffy supports what has been outlined by many others in the medical health field in recent times.
"Across the board, we've seen steady increase or trend in people exhibiting mild to moderate mental health issues," he said.
"We've seen increases in people presenting for help."
To register for the November 25 event: onthelowdown.com.au/online-events
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