“When we can’t find the sun we find each other.” That’s the new theme from theSouthern Grampians Live4Life Crew who want to share the message that just as sunflowers turn to the sun, we can all turn to each other.
The Live4Life model focuses on a whole of community approach to mental health education and suicide prevention in order to build resilient young people and communities.
In the Southern Grampians, the Live4Life Crew is a group of year 9 students who volunteer their time as mental health ambassadors – sharing positive mental health messages and challenging the negative stigmas associated with mental health.
The Crew formed in February this year, and has since developed the theme as a fun and creative expression of their involvement in the local initiative.
The theme encompasses everything the Crew aim to achieve in being mental health ambassadors – supporting their peers and delivering the message they are not alone.
‘We have all had times when we aren’t coping well, and turning to one and other can help when this happens’ said Baimbridge College Crew member Joey Lehmann.
WDHS Youth Engagement Worker Amie Menzel said she was excited to be working with the Crew to promote the program in the community: ‘The yellow of sunflowers is the colour of happiness, representing laughter, hope and sunshine. The theme really encourages positivity around youth mental health.’
Unfortunately the timing of the program launch has meant that the normal model of face-to-face training within schools has not been possible. However, Youth Live4Life is now working to adapt its messages for an interim period by moving mental health education into online modules that can be easily accessed by students across the 6 participating rural Victorian communities, including Southern Grampians.
Southern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Cr Chris Sharples said the program couldn’t have come at a more important time.
“We know that youth mental health and wellbeing is an important issue across our community, and particularly now as we grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. Council is extremely proud to partner the Live4Life program and to play a role in supporting the program delivery across our secondary schools. It is so important for young people to feel supported and informed about the signs and symptoms of mental health issues, how to seek help and importantly how to help their friends.”
Live4Life Southern Grampians has received funding support through WDHS, Beyond the Bell, Southern Grampians Shire Council, the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, Newsboys Foundation and Calvert-Jones Foundation, Schools and Partner Agencies.
You can find out more about Live4Life at www.live4life.org.au or follow the Crew on Instagram @live4life_southerngrampians
If you or another young person in your life needs urgent non-judgemental support, please use the resources available at:
For further details about Live4Life Southern Grampians contact:
Live4Life Project Officer
0407 355 646