A 40 per cent surge in young people accessing help since the same sex marriage postal survey began has sparked pleas for calm and respect from frontline youth mental health service ReachOut ahead of Wednesday’s result.

ReachOut Australia CEO Jono Nicholas said the hurt and harm the survey had caused was “indisputable”, with young people seeking help nearly 10,000 times from ReachOut.com’s LGBTIQ support services in the three months since the same sex marriage postal vote was announced.

Mr Nicholas said ReachOut was often the first stop on the frontline for young people, particularly if they were reluctant to seek help face-to-face, and reminded Australians ReachOut.com’s support was available anywhere, anytime and anonymously if they knew someone who was struggling during the marriage debate.

“Regardless of tomorrow’s result, some Australians will be disappointed with the outcome, so please be respectful of how others may be feeling. Trolling or gloating will only continue to divide the community.

“If you’re anxious about the result, then take steps to ensure you’re in a supportive environment, or consider stepping out for some fresh air or just taking a minute.

“ReachOut.com will be releasing a range of additional support content over the coming days to assist people to better cope with the survey result, and any resulting debate and hate that may follow.

“ReachOut has been on the frontline every day of the postal survey, with no additional government support, and we’ve had to divert resources from other critical areas to respond and support people during this time.

“We need answers from government more than ever on how they plan to support frontline mental health organisations like ReachOut to heal the mental scars that will remain long beyond tomorrow’s result.”

Mr Nicholas said ReachOut’s LGBTIQ support services has been uniquely accessed 9968 times in the three months between August 2017 and October 2017, compared to 7193 times the three months prior – a 40 per cent increase.

 

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Media contacts

For interviews and further information please contact:
Troy Bilsborough – 0427 063 150 – PROVOCATE
Liza Davis – 0418 164 231 – ReachOut Australia

 

About ReachOut Australia

ReachOut has been changing the way people access help since launching as the world’s first online mental health service nearly 20 years ago. Everything they create is based on the latest evidence and designed with experts, and young people or their parents. This is why ReachOut’s digital self-help tools are trusted, relevant and easy to use.

Available for free anytime and pretty much anywhere, ReachOut is accessed by 132,000 people in Australia every month. That’s more than 1.58 million each year.

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