This March, we are swimming for youth mental health and suicide prevention with Laps for Life and you can too. Whether you’re new to the water or a competitive swimmer, ReachOut and Ian Thorpe AM are challenging people across Australia to jump in the water from 1 to 31 March and swim laps at the local pool, hit the beach or take part in an ocean swim to save lives and support all young people in Australia to be happy and well.
All you have to do is sign up as an individual, or as a team with your colleagues, family or friends this month, set your goal using the lap calculator, spread the word, swim and log your laps, and fundraise to help prevent youth suicide.
Sadly, 1 in 4 young people are living with a mental health challenge in Australia and suicide remains the leading cause of death for young people. We know that after friends and family, the internet is the first place young people turn to for information and support which is why ReachOut is committed to connecting young people with the online information, community and pathways to the support they need to be happy and well, regardless of where they’re from or where they’re at.
This is why every dollar raised for Laps for Life is so important to us. $450 will help to develop self-help tools around the key issues affecting young people. $1000 will enable our peer-to-peer forums to provide critical support to young people in distress. $3000 will help ReachOut Parents continue to develop advice and information for parents and carers on key issues.
In kick-starting your fundraising journey, ReachOut has put together some fundraising tips to get you started.
- Be the first – donate to yourself. Donating to yourself will demonstrate your dedication to the event and cause and give people an idea on how much to donate.
- Ask your friends, family and colleagues to donate using our email templates. Ask 10 (or more) of your friends, family or colleagues to donate $50 each = $500. Using the email templates on the get support section of your profile, simply add in the email addresses of those who you would like to sponsor you and start fundraising!
- Ask your boss for a company contribution. Doing this can add a quick $100.
- Update your Facebook status, post a link or send out a tweet. Facebook is the perfect platform for fundraising. People who use social media raise on average twice as much as other fundraisers! DM or tag 10 of your friends to donate $20 each – that’s an additional $200.
- Already asked those close to you for donations? Ask again! If you asked them once and they haven’t donated – ask again! They've probably just forgotten and won’t begrudge a friendly reminder. You can use the "Sponsorship request reminder" on the get support section of your profile.
- Make use of our resources. Download our Laps for Life resources from our resources page and add them to your emails, socials and more to get the word out about your challenge.
The money raised by taking part in Laps for Life will help ReachOut continue to support young people in Australia every day so jump in the water to raise critical funds and save lives with #LAPSFORLIFE this March.
If this article has raised issues for you, or if you’re concerned about someone you know, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or in an emergency call 000. A number of support services are also there for you on ReachOut’s urgent help page.