Youth Live4Life Inc.
This application is submitted as a consortium with Youth Live4Life Inc. and the following Local Government Organisations:
Glenelg Shire Council
Benalla Rural City Council
Macedon Ranges Shire Council
The Live4Life initiative commenced in 2009 in response to a reported increase in anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide amongst young people in the rural communities of the Macedon Ranges. The Live4Life model focuses on a whole of community approach to mental health education and suicide prevention in order to build resilient young people and communities. This is achieved by ‘wrapping’ protective factors around young people such as supportive relationships, support at critical times, constructive help-seeking attitudes, connection to family, school and community and positive peer role models.
With continued interest across rural Victoria and interstate Live4Life Macedon Ranges established Youth Live4Life Incorporated, a state-wide health promotion charity with DGR 1 charitable status and registered with the ACNC. The organisation was established in 2015 and is governed by a board of experienced Directors. The organisation operates independently from the Macedon Ranges Shire Council who currently deliver the national award winning, locally based Live4Life initiative. In July 2016, Youth Live4Life Inc. received a grant from the Myer Foundation for an 18-month period to trial the Live4Life model in two other rural communities with high youth suicide rates. Through a competitive expression of interest process the two rural communities selected were Benalla Rural City and Glenelg Shire.
The Live4Life initiative aims to ensure that young people, teachers, parents and the wider community are better informed about mental ill health and are proactive in identifying the signs and symptoms of an emerging mental health issue before a crisis occurs. The initiative has four essential components that have been designed, implemented and independently evaluated for over eight years in the Macedon Ranges Shire. The components are delivered annually and include:
- The establishment of a School and Community Partnership Group
- Delivery of evidence based suicide prevention and mental health education across all secondary schools and community groups.
- Implementation of local youth leadership and participation program called the Crew.
- Coordination, support and mentoring by Youth Live4Life Inc. Staff
Since inception Live4Life has offered mental health education to over 1000 teachers, parents and community members and over 8000 secondary school aged young people.
An independent evaluation of the 2017 pilots of Live4Life conducted by Orygen: The National Center of Excellence in Youth Mental Health concluded that the model is aligned with national and state-based strategies and maps onto international and national recommendations for suicide prevention activities (Robinson, et al., 2018).