The campaign aims to bring mental health awareness to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities while promoting the headspace facilities in areas such as Queensland, the Top End, Broome and rural areas across the country.
“The purpose of the campaign is to encourage more young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to think about their mental health and wellbeing and importantly know that there are places to go to for health such as headspace,” Community Relations Manager of headspace, Sarah Shiell says.
The campaign has been in the works for quite a while, and using Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth from communities has been part of headspace’s preference of involving young people in all aspects of their work.
“In October last year we brought together a group of 11 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across Australia into Melbourne to work with our advertising agency to really develop the key messages and look and feel of the campaign,” Sarah explains.
“This was to ensure that what we were putting out to the community once finalised, is going to resonate in terms of community awareness. We’ve got this amazing group of young people from around Australia that are passionate about getting this campaign right.”
headspace has a national network of 55 centres across metropolitan, regional and rural areas as well as online and telephone counselling service, eheadspace. The selected young Indigenous people were from places such as Elcho Island, Brisbane, Darwin, Broome and Perth.
“We’re doing photo shoots in a number of locations to ensure that the campaign resonates with those local communities,” Sarah explains.
“What we’ll be doing is working with our local headspace centres in those locations quite closely to ensure the campaign is out in the right areas, and that young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people see and recognise the campaign and know that headspace is there and can help them.”
The final product is a targeted and culturally appropriate mental health and wellbeing campaign that will encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to visit headspace when they need support.
Chris Tanti, headspace CEO, explains that for the campaign to be successful, it needs to be driven by young people.
“Depression, anxiety and suicide affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth at a higher rate than non-Indigenous young people, so it’s imperative that we reach them in the right way, with the right messages,” he says.
“Learning what young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people need from the start, we can tailor something that will generate real outcomes.”