A new competition seeks to address the worst parts of the online world and through video projects impress on the bullied that they are not alone.
Youth suicide has reached a ten-year high in Australia according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Suicide is responsible for the loss of about eight young lives per week – more than those killed in car crashes.
The video competition, Presented by Village Roadshow, gives secondary and tertiary students an opportunity to get creative and get in the running to win from a $15,000 prize pool.
From 16 July to 9 October, entrants working individually or in groups will create videos with the theme 'You are not alone' to show someone they care and support the fight against suicide, which is the biggest killer of young Australians.
The competition is an initiative of the Australian Suicide Prevention Foundation (ASPF) and was launched at Albert Park College, Melbourne.
Medical director of ASPF and psychiatrist, Dr David Horgan, said videos created by young people for young people had the potential to cut through in circumstances where concerned parents and teachers struggled.
“The online world can be such a damaging place when you’re a teenager and trying to find your identity amidst self-doubt and the struggles of fitting in. We believe these videos will shine a light in the darkness, and provide hope.”
Ambassador, comedian and radio host, Liam Stapleton and co-host and fellow ambassador Ben Harvey have both been touched by mental health issues among family and friends.
“The ‘You are not alone’ campaign is extremely important; those four words can save lives. I have loved ones who battle with mental health issues daily. I’ve been lucky enough to have people around me who I trust and I can talk to,” said Stapleton.
Harvey added, “In my time working in radio I have meet dozens of people who tell me they suffer from mental health issues but hearing a familiar voice in the mornings makes them feel like they have someone and they aren’t so alone.”
The competition has the backing of a number of prominent Australian ambassadors including Alison Wonderland (DJ and Coachella star), Baker Boy (first rapper to break his Indigenous language Yolngu Matha into the mainstream), Ben Harvey and Liam Stapleton (radio hosts and comedians) and Monique Conti (dual code athlete for WNBL and AFLW).
The theme 'You are not alone”' was developed in collaboration with five secondary schools from across the state.
ASPF is a nationwide not-for-profit focused on providing an outlet for those considering suicide, and their friends and relatives affected by such an event.
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