Youth mental health organisation headspace has turned to Facebook to connect with young people in regional areas where they believed to be at higher risk of suicide.
Headspace says analysis has revealed a number of locations where young people are not seeking help when they need it most.
Three of the four areas in NSW are in the northern rivers region: Grafton, Tweed Heads and Lismore.
Facebook has provided headspace with ad credits to allow the organisation target ads to provide messages and advice to the Newsfeeds of young people living in towns or regions that have recently experienced suicide.
Facebook’s Australian director of policy, Mia Garlick, said the initiative is speaking to young people who – in many cases – can’t be reached by traditional methods.
‘We want to ensure as best we can that young people don’t fall through the cracks when they are at their most vulnerable,’ Ms Garlick said.
Headspace’s school support manager Kristen Douglassaid the targeted messaging was ‘a ground-breaking way’ of communicating to people in regions who ‘aren’t accessing the mental health help they need.’
‘This way we know that 13 to 25 year-olds in those areas – and who are on Facebook – will see that they either have a headspace centre close to them, or that they can contact headspace,’ she said.
The posts will direct young people to nearby headspace centres, or to eheadspace, the online and over-the-phone service. It will also outline that headspace offers support for both mental and physical health, drug and alcohol issues and work and study concerns.
The Facebook messaging began in November and will extend throughout December and January. Eleven locations across NSW, WA, Queensland and Victoria will receive the initial, targeted messaging.
headspace is ultimately looking to expand the program to reach other locations throughout Australia.
If you need to speak to someone contact headspace Lismore on (02) 6625 0200, visit their Facebook page or go to the eheadspace website.
This week the North Coast Primary Health Network is also conducting a series of workshops on suicide prevention.
The heady youth mental health organisation Headspace wants to connect with regional young people as regional youth are believed to be at higher risk of suicide than city youth.
Facebook is the connection method Headspace is using because as depression sets in young people doodle and dawdle their thoughts in tell-tale signs that they are asking for help but don’t know how.
Just what are you thinking in your head in your space. Connect with Headspace and connect with a friend.
Great Idea…so needed…have to connect with the young people in their forums!
Fabulous Idea….need to reach those beautiful young people & let me know just how special & loved they all are!
Everyone goes through stuff & there is nothing that can’t be put right in some way!