Leading youth mental health service, ReachOut, has launched a creator-led campaign aimed at fostering social and emotional wellbeing in the lead up to the referendum.
The campaign, now live on the ReachOut website, Instagram and other social media channels, seeks to empower and support young First Nations people as they navigate the complex social and emotional wellbeing challenges resulting from the Voice to Parliament referendum and surrounding debate.
The content themes were developed in consultation with First Nations agency, Cox Inall Ridgeway and Studio Gilay, an animation and production studio with First Nations leadership. The content was also reviewed extensively by First Nations young people.
The initial content piece features advice and insights from four First Nations creators on how to cope when you feel like a spokesperson for mob.
The feeling of being responsible for educating others about First Nations culture, practices or issues is often referred to as ‘cultural load’.
Uncle Mot, FinesseMane, Royston Noell, and Jahvis Loveday share their experiences and strategies for managing cultural load and explore the intricacies of feeling like a spokesperson for the First Nations community.
Uncle Mot, one of the Creators featured in the campaign, was proud to have partnered with ReachOut.
“This has been a difficult time for many young First Nations people across Australia. Contributing to conversations around cultural load and offering support, advice and a sense of solidarity has been a meaningful experience.”
“Cultural load can be overwhelming and exhausting. I hope that by sharing my own experiences I have been able to connect with young people who may be going through similar challenges.”
Jackie Hallan, Director of Service at ReachOut emphasised the importance of collaborating with First Nations people on social and emotional wellbeing support.
“With the referendum approaching, we’re seeing an increase in discrimination and racism and this is having an impact on First Nations young peoples’ mental health and social and emotional wellbeing.
“There’s a real demand for support that actually meets the unique needs of First Nations young people, which is why collaboration is so crucial.
“Working in partnership with First Nations people is integral to developing culturally-appropriate support. By amplifying the voices of First Nations people we hope to encourage and empower young people to seek support when they need it.”
This campaign is supported by Meta.
Mia Garlick, Meta’s Regional Director of Policy for Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea and the Pacific acknowledges the importance of social and emotional wellbeing support during this time.
“Feedback we’ve heard is that First Nations people may need additional mental health support, before, during and after the referendum, so we are proud to support this important campaign from ReachOut. By providing First Nations Creators with the platform to communicate their experiences, we hope that conversations are encouraged and avenues for support amplified."
In addition to this exciting creator-led piece of content, ReachOut has released support content on switching off from the digital world, how to support your First Nations teen when their identity is in the news and how to ease pressure off mob and share the cultural load.
ReachOut will continue to release content to support social and emotional wellbeing in collaboration with First Nations Creators in the lead up to the referendum and beyond.
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.
Anneka Diaz / 0449 649 447 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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.