The objectives of the Anika Foundation are:
- To put together a unique group of people well placed to raise and professionally invest in order to generate a permanent income stream to fund research prizes in the area of Adolescent Depression and Suicide. This will include:
- Medical Research
- Social Research
- Educational Research
- To raise awareness about, the problems of youth depression and suicide in the course of fund raising activities and functions organised by the Foundation. In 2004 The National Mental Health Working Group identified the following causes of young people not seeking and/or being able to access help.
- The limited number of clinical psychologists in the public system.
- Lack of facilities and long waits for specialised care.
- Lack of communication across social sectors (healthcare, family, schools, etc) including issues of following up those hospitalised for self harm and/or displaying other symptoms.
- A lack of community based 'youth-friendly' alternatives for young people at risk of suicide.
- A failure by care givers to recognise the early symptoms of depression; or equivalently, to treat them as 'normal conditions of adolescence'.
- Personal impediments to help, including: lack of awareness of the problems and services available; perception of adults as threatening; concerns about confidentiality and stigma; feelings of helplessness; the financial cost of private specialised care (and it is never a single visit when psychiatric treatment is involved); suspicion and resentment of treatment (e.g. they may be hospitalised against their will); failure to disclose critical information to health workers; guilt/shame vis parents, teachers and peers.
- To involve family and friends and interested members of the community in the activities of the Foundation.