Giving up can be a GREAT thing

Do you find yourself constantly checking your phone every time it beeps, or caving in your sweet sweet cravings? Are you a little too connected to that thing that you should really take a break from? Then this might be the fundraising activity for you.

We’ve had people give up their laptops, their daily caffeine fix, their birthdays and EVEN their entire head of hair! All in the name of raising funds to help young people take control of their mental health. Whether you want to go it alone, convince a mate to do it with you – or maybe get your whole school or workforce involved your campaign, we’ll be here to support you through the whole thing!

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We’ve got loads of great tips and info about all kinds of Give Up events. Let us know what you are thinking of doing and we’ll make sure you are supported every step of the way!

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Need some inspiration?

Check out some absolute champions who have created their own Give Up campaigns to help young people be happy and well.

Gave up: His hair

Jack loves his hair. In fact, he was known for his perfectly coiffed, never a hair out of place head of hair. But this year Jack, in a bid to raise awareness and funds for ReachOut, decided to give up his hair.

When asked about his motivation behind the shaved (albeit cooler) head, Jack told us, “I attended a conference a couple of weeks ago and heard a story about a guy who used ReachOut’s community forums after he finished high school around 10 years ago. It’s cool hearing about the impact that ReachOut has had in changing people’s lives. This inspired me to raise more money to keep ReachOut going so that in the future, more people will have access to ReachOut.”

He also had other motivation for the drastic change:

“Many young people feel that they’re alone in their problems, and this is sad. Earlier this year I lost a friend to suicide. And, like myself, many Australians are affected by suicide, especially young people. It is important to look at mental health as something that is normal, everyone goes through tough times, and that you’re not alone. The work that ReachOut does is great as they help to remove the stigma behind mental health.”

He also thinks that ReachOut is really making a difference. “Young people, through ReachOut, are able to access a wealth of information that may help them understand what they’re going through. It’s super important that ReachOut continues as more and more people continue to use the internet to find the answers they’re looking for.”

Gave up: Her laptop

Like many young people, Erin uses technology daily and loves just coming home after a long day to watch Netflix. Being disconnected was going to be a big deal, but she set a challenge for herself to not use her laptop for an entire month to raise funds for ReachOut.   “I had the family computer so I could study and I could still have general email, but I had no personal space which you don’t really realise how big of an impact it has until you have to share the TV with your family members and you have to share the family computer with everyone who all want it.”

But she said she was doing it for a cause that was really important to her, which made it all worth it. “Mental health is an ongoing issue and it’s unfortunately something that won’t just go away. ReachOut helps young people who are struggling with various mental issues get the help and support they need in an environment that’s not intimidating.”

“ReachOut provides the resources for young people to understand their mental health and get help when life just gets too much to handle. The more we talk about youth mental health the less stigma there will be surrounding it, and long term that is what will help.”

During the month without the distraction of her laptop and beloved Netflix, Erin had time to reflect on what she was doing and why she was doing it. And for her, it was personal. “I struggle with anxiety, and when I was first diagnosed there was a lot of stigma surrounding it, so getting help was hard. People need to realise that it’s okay not to be okay and that mental health can be complex and hard to understand at times. As someone who has good and bad days, it’s important that young people are made aware of this and it’s not their fault if they are feeling down for no reason or just can’t handle stuff at the moment. Being more open with what you’re going through can help you get the help you need while also encouraging others to get help.”

Gave up: Coffee and the light rail

An avid coffee drinker and daily light rail commuter, Kim gave up both for an entire month to raise funds for youth mental health. This was one of the first months of winter in Sydney, which meant that sometimes it was not-so-great weather, and a coffee would be a welcome treat. But she abstained, and for a great cause. “I care about young people’s wellbeing as a mother and grandmother. I wanted to tell my networks about ReachOut’s great work and raise money at the same time.”

She knows the importance of youth mental health and if raising money for ReachOut meant going without coffee and the comforts of the light rail, she was more than happy to do it.

“Young people are the future – their wellbeing is critical to the health of our communities.”

“We live in a digital world and ReachOut offers 24 hours online access to information and help-seeking pathways for young people who are digital natives. Young people are the future – their wellbeing is critical to the health of our communities.”

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