In an era where mental health has never been more important, Madd were proud to attend and sponsor the inaugural You Are Not Alone fundraising event.
Verbal or physical bullying, trauma linked to the loss of a loved one or family breakdown, conflict, alcohol misuse and cyberbullying are all contributing factors to youth mental health problems, all of which young people have the potential to be exposed to.
Despite this, young people are the least likely to seek professional help or support when it comes to dealing with mental health issues. Research suggests that only 17% of young men and 31% of young women will reach out to a school counsellor, a parent, a teacher, a psychologist, when in need of professional help.
While one in seven young people aged 4 to 17 years experience a mental health condition in any given year, there’s no denying that the young people of our communities need our help. As 75% of all mental health issues occur before the age of 25, raising awareness in schools is more important than ever – which is how the You Are Not Alone initiative was born.
Why We Support The You Are Not Alone Initiative
Established in 1948, Villanova College caters for approximately 1, 340 boys in three schools ranging from Year Five to Year Twelve. Villanova College has a long history of excellence, with just a handful of its most prominent alumni including former Attorney General for Australia George Brandis, NRL superstar Brad Meyers, journalist Chris Reason, and Madd Loans founder George Samios.
George found his time at Villanova to be hugely influential during his formative years, and wasted no time in supporting the You Are Not Alone initiative launched by Villanova student, Tom Price.
Established from the aim to change statistics around youth mental health and suicide through talking about how we truly feel, the You Are Not Alone campaign started with one simple yet star-studded video. By highlighting the issues faced by young people, the video was created by students all over Brisbane. The video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times nationwide and was featured on radio stations and celebrity social media pages.
As the brains behind the You Are Not Alone campaign, Tom Price was well known as a confident and outgoing young man who was heading into Year 12 as a senior leader, while at the same time producing honey from his own hives and working as a part-time volunteer lifeguard. However, when his own busy social, school and sporting routines disappeared in 2020 thanks to the onset of the pandemic, he found himself struggling with his mental health for the first time.
When Tom looked around, there wasn’t anything that particularly resonated with him – or his peers – in terms of normalising or supporting someone with mental health issues. Having found the help that he needed at the time, Tom has set about creating a mental health campaign he hopes will start conversations, normalise the struggle and create a positive change in student mental health statistics.
“I knew that if I was having a hard time dealing with all the COVID changes and pressures that come with school, family and general life I was surely not the only one. So, I based the campaign around the words ‘you are not alone’. Words that when you are having a tough time and feeling isolated are pretty powerful,” said Price.
Along with his fellow Villanova students Lachlan Bremner, Riley Richars and Cameron Wallis, Tom has since been blown away by the reaction that the You Are Not Alone campaign has received. Determined to keep the momentum going, Tom and his friends wasted no time in taking the campaign to the next level.
In conjunction with Lifeline, the You Are Not Alone campaign launched its first annual fun run to raise money to support Lifeline’s call centres. With the aim being to promote conversation among young people about how they are feeling, aiming to change statistics around youth mental health and suicide, Madd Loans jumped at the change to sponsor the event when approached.
Held on Saturday 25 June, the inaugural You Are Not Alone fun run managed to raise a whopping $35, 000, with all funds going directly to lifeline. George and the team at Madd were proud to attend the event held in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, and be a part of the much needed conversation surrounding youth mental health.
If you or someone you know is suffering with mental health, it’s important to know where and when to reach out for help. Nobody should ever feel alone, and Lifeline offers vital support via 24/7 free text and phone hotlines to talk things through with trained professionals. Sometimes it might not feel like it, but we’re all in this together.