Our Impact | Youth Insearch

Our Impact

Since 1985, we have supported over 32,000 at-risk youth to triumph over trauma and improve their mental health, reducing risk taking behaviours.

In 2019, two thirds of young people on intake had either planned or attempted suicide prior to attending our programs. The statistics below are from those young people in 2019.

Together, we can support young people to triumph.

Our impact is impressive and widely acclaimed. There have been thousands of remarkable turnarounds in young people’s behaviour and attitudes to life as a result of their involvement in the Youth Insearch program. This is supported by independent reviews and our internal statistics.

Youth Insearch partnered with the University of Sydney and University of Melbourne in 2019 to complete a cooperative inquiry to undertake pioneering research on the mechanisms and effectiveness of peer support programs for disadvantaged youth through evaluation of the Youth Insearch program.



The Australian Institute of Family Studies (2009) found:

“cumulative data from independent reviews and program evaluations evidence the program has a success rate of 80% in that most young people return to their communities challenged for change and the results are long lasting” (pg.6).

In a review commissioned by the NSW State Government, Urbis (2003)  found positive outcomes across multiple behaviour and well-being measures and that the program had a sustained positive impact on these issues over time. (pg.40-50). This included significantly:

  • Less trouble with police and crime (for 83%)
  • Higher self-esteem (for 65% immediately, increasing to 76%, 6 months after)
  • Improved family relationships (for 70%)
  • Reduced suicidal thoughts and attempts (65% no longer suicidal, 80% no more suicide attempts) 
  • Reduced alcohol and drug use (e.g. 66% increase in not drinking, 71% no longer using drugs)
  • Better attendance and attitude to education (for 58%)
  • Improved life skills (range of factors)
  • Improved confidence and control (range of factors)
  • Less violent (for 37%) 

It also found “… other lasting changes ascribed to the program, both immediate, and 6 months after” (pg.67): 

  • More stable relationships with friends and close contact with friends from the program
  • Being more expressive, open about experiences, feelings, emotions, in touch with their feelings
  • Motivated to change
  • Feeling good about themselves and their lives, being calmer, more relaxed, controlled, less agitated and anxious
  • Being more mature, cooperative, better behaved, more participative
  • Being more social, communicative, less of a ‘loner’, having less conflict with peers, more positive interactions
  • Having better relationships with support adults
  • Having a clearer perspective on their life/problems
  • Trusting more
  • Being more comfortable seeking help
  • Gaining employment

The Urbis (2008) review (commissioned by the Federal Government) confirmed these results finding:

“[There is] a broad range of positive immediate outcomes … in particular making new friends and meeting others with similar problems, feeling loved and respected as well as feeling respect for others and having support” .

“A range of positive behavioural outcomes … such as increased school attendance, a sizeable reduction in drug and alcohol use, and a reduction in the perpetration of physical violence”.