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R U OK charity welcome new campaign #FriendBetter after shocking new mental health research

Image: 19-year old Aleuca Angel, R U OK?

A new campaign aims to open-up conversations among young people, in light of new survey made up of over 1,000 young Australians across metro and regional areas of the country.

In 2022 the organisation reached out to leading youth research organisation, Youth Insight to help gather a better understanding of how to best support young Australians. 

The survey consisted of even numbers of male, female and included non-binary participants.

Young people aged between 12 and 25 are overrepresented in suicide statistics.

In 2011, death by suicide represented 34% of all deaths of young people aged 15 to 17 and 35% of deaths in those aged 18 to 24. The research found that seven in ten Australians aged 12 to 25 did not ask for help when they are experiencing a difficult time.

Young People and Education Manager at R U OK? Ms Claire Goodall, said the campaign was created in order for young Australian’s to connect more and break stigmas around talking about mental health difficulties.

“Young Australian’s can access the support they need, and go to a friend first, to help young people have meaningful conversations”

 “Increase in conversations, encourages young Australians to reach out and support each other, and is somewhere to go if they are in need of information” she added.

“Financial stress and academic stress effects young people differently, as we provide free resources and information on 8 different topics” Ms Goddall said.

The #FriendBetter campaign website provides tips and support to those struggling from a range of topics that include; the cost of living, self-esteem, motivation, financial stress, relationships, mental health, and academic stress.

Image: #FriendBetter, R U OK?

Community Ambassador from Sydney, 19-year-old university student Aleuca Angel volunteers as an R U OK?, and is passionate about sharing the message as she has experienced her own mental health challenges.

“I haven’t felt very confident asking someone if they’re OK before. I remember thinking I wouldn’t be able to offer advice that could help them or know what to say. I was worried the person would regret coming to me,” Ms Angel said.

“I have seen conversations between myself and others that really have made a big positive difference and been a catalyst for people seeking help”

“When you’re going through a tough time, support from close friends can change everything. It makes you realise you are not alone” she added.

“#FriendBetter provides an outline of how to navigate these conversations. I hope it helps people to reach out if they think a mate might be struggling,”

R U OK? are a non-for profit public health organisation, that aims to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people who might be struggling.

To find out more about the campaign visit https://www.ruok.org.au/

For crisis support, please contact:

Kids Helpline – call 1800 55 1800 or chat online at https://kidshelpline.com.au/get-help/webchat-counselling
Lifeline – call 13 11 14 or text 0477 13 11 14 or chat online at 
https://www.lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat/

Natasha Hortis

Natasha Hortis is a writer and creative studying a Bachelor of Communications majoring in journalism at Deakin University. She has volunteered for multiple charities and is passionate about journalism as it is educating and informing, to empower those who may not have a voice. Natasha wants to be a journalist to make readers connect to the stories and investigate the real matters that have a big impact on the world.

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Natasha Hortis

Natasha Hortis is a writer and creative studying a Bachelor of Communications majoring in journalism at Deakin University. She has volunteered for multiple charities and is passionate about journalism as it is educating and informing, to empower those who may not have a voice. Natasha wants to be a journalist to make readers connect to the stories and investigate the real matters that have a big impact on the world.

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