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Design Supporting Youth Mental Health Issues

Dance For Life (DFL) supports ReachOut, a platform for youth dealing with mental health issues. With current statistics stating that up to one in five Australians experience symptoms of mental illness, it is something that many in the design community, and the wider community, come into contact with.

Design Supporting Youth Mental Health Issues

Why Mental Health?
“Suicide and depression is so widespread these days and it is becoming more and more common in younger people,” says Megan Byrne of TCW, who along with ThinkingWorks and Instyle, organise the event. “We wanted to support something that everyone could relate to, so when we went through the list of potential charities to work with, ReachOut was the one that stood out.”

Who Is ReachOut?
ReachOut is an online platform that provides support for young people dealing with a range of mental health issues relating to alcohol and drugs, anger, bullying, isolation, stress and sleep, among others. It is a one-stop-shop where young people can connect to personalised support and information when they need it most. Importantly, ReachOut is the world’s first online mental health service for young people, meaning its impact extends across the country right into isolated regional areas where on-the-ground support may be difficult to access. Currently, this crucial platform is used by 1.58 million people each year.

What’s Dance Got To Do With It?
Everything! Knowing that depression can be very isolating, the DFL team sees the event as something that could be quite the opposite — “Something that can bring the whole industry together and create an amazing energy. To do this, while at the same time raising much-needed funds and awareness for a charity like ReachOut, is so rewarding,” the DFL organisers say.

How Does It Help?
“The ongoing relationship between ReachOut and DFL has been fantastic in raising awareness of our service,” says Krisztina Javor, Corporate Partnerships Manager at ReachOut Australia. “One of our strategic goals for 2020 is to help an additional 1 million people by 2020 and partnerships such as DFL help us expand our reach. The donation that ReachOut receives from DFL is also vital in helping us manage and further develop our content, tools, features, services and community. For every $2, we are able to help a person in need.” 

What Has Been Achieved?
Since Dance For Life first launched in 2012, the design industry has raised over $230,000 dollars. “The design community is incredibly driven, enthusiastic and generous — the way everyone has jumped on board with D4L has been awesome,” says Krisztina. “The willingness to embrace a great idea, a good cause and step out of the comfort zone has been amazing to see. It has also been great to note that our cause has struck a chord with many of those involved in DFL,” she continues, “and the level of awareness of our valuable work has been both surprising and very motivating.”

How Can You Support?
Now that the dance teams for this year are confirmed and registered, we invite everyone to pick your favourite team — or spread your love over them all — and make a donation to assist the important work that ReachOut are doing every day — to help the young people in our lives, and in the wider community.

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