The new and culturally safe digital resources include videos, comic strips and real life stories. Each piece has been designed to support First Nations young peoples’ understanding of social and emotional wellbeing, their development of resilience, and provide information about ways to seek further help.
First Nations young people have guided the development of this new support via a series of consultations, including First Nations-led workshops. The workshops took place in urban and regional communities in New South Wales and Queensland, selected with a focus on areas with high populations of First Nations young people.
Each workshop was designed to allow First Nations young people to share ways they like to be supported to build their social and emotional wellbeing and to provide feedback on key elements such as the artwork featured and the language used. Participants also shared insights such as the practical things they do for their own social and emotional wellbeing.
A range of First Nations partner organisations have been involved in this project, including Ngakkan Nyaagu (NGNY) who supported the delivery of workshops with First Nations young people. The team at Studio Gilay, an animation and production studio with First Nations leadership, brought to life a range of stories via animated videos and created cartoons covering themes such as helping mob and shame job. ReachOut also worked with Jasmine Sarin of JS Koori Designs, who designed the artwork that features across the new support content and the wider campaign.
Wiradjuri woman Karen Cashman, Senior Aboriginal Research Manager at ReachOut, said that being guided by First Nations young people, partnering with schools and working with First Nations-led organisations has been vital to this work.
“ReachOut is proud to launch our brand new social and emotional wellbeing support for First Nations young people which embodies First Nations ways of being, doing and thinking.
“Importantly, our First Nations-led team yarned with, learnt from and iterated based on feedback from First Nations young people at each stage of the development of this new support.
“ReachOut provides support for young people across the country and one of the strengths of our service is our commitment to meeting young people where they are. We hope that this new social and emotional wellbeing support will be a valuable resource for First Nations young people and that we can continue on our journey of ensuring that ReachOut remains a culturally safe place for mob,” she said.
The project is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health. ReachOut looks forward to continuing to learn from, and partner with, First Nations communities to produce relevant and useful resources and services.
ReachOut celebrates the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on lands across Australia.
Tessa Anderssen / 0411 708 587 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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ReachOut is the leading online mental health service in Australia supporting young people during tough times.
ReachOut helps young people feel better about today and the future, no matter what challenge they’re facing. They provide a safe place where young people can openly express themselves, explore what’s happening in their lives, connect with people who understand their situation, and find the resources to help them manage their challenges now and in the future.
Anonymous, free and 100% online, ReachOut has been designed specifically for – and with – young people. From one-to-one support from experienced peer workers, to online forums, as well as tips, stories and resources, ReachOut offers a wide range of support options that allow young people to engage in the ways they want to, when they want to, and has been doing so for more than 20 years.
And, ReachOut Parents and ReachOut Schools provide valuable information, resources and advice to help parents, carers and educators to better understand the young people in their lives and to play an active role in their wellbeing.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that the ReachOut website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film or audio recordings.
ReachOut encourages safe reporting about mental ill-health and suicide and encourages media to report according to the Mindframe guidelines.