A morning cuppa will take on greater meaning next week as more than 50 Perth cafes join a new movement to help combat mental health issues and youth suicide.
As part of the “Coffee for a Cause” initiative, Youth Focus commissioned Perth artist Naomi Craigs to design a bright takeaway coffee cup to align with the Mental Health Week theme: Mental health starts where we live, learn, work and play.
The special cups have been offered to cafes across Perth as part of a concerted campaign during Mental Health Week 2019 to build awareness about the important work of Youth Focus and raise vital funds to help save more young lives.
Mental Health Week is an annual event that aims to raise community awareness and understanding about mental health. This year it runs from October 6 to 12, with Mental Health Day culminating on October 10.
Craigs said she was inspired to work on the Coffee for a Cause project, knowing first-hand the impacts of living with anxiety and depression.
“It’s extremely rewarding to be a part of a cause to help people who have been on similar journeys to myself,” she said.
“From struggling to manage my anxiety, to struggling to keep down a normal job and some close relationships, it affected every aspect of my life,” she said.
“Now that I’m 27 I’ve lived with these symptoms for more than 10 years.
“It wasn’t until last year when I was correctly diagnosed with borderline personality disorder that I was able to access the correct treatment for my issues.
“More than a year on, I’m effectively managing every aspect of my life so much better. I’m working again, taking care of myself better and managing all my friendships and relationships better.
“When you’re feeling hopeless about your situation, to see others that have been at rock bottom and who have managed to work their way out of it is everything.”
Craigs said the themes of inclusivity and connection had inspired her cup design.
“I thought it was necessary for me to create a fun, bright and bold design for people to enjoy. When I draw I draw a lot of cute and fun things, so it made sense to draw this design in the same way.”
Youth Focus Chief Executive Officer Arthur Papakotsias said the Youth Focus Coffee for a Cause campaign was as much about raising awareness about youth mental health as it was about raising funds for Youth Focus and its free, unlimited counselling services.
“Without the generosity of our supporters and the greater community we would not be able to provide as many young people in Western Australia with critical counselling services and suicide prevention education,” Mr Papakotsias said.
“I encourage everyone to get behind this initiative and consider donating the cost of their next coffee to Youth Focus to help save a young life from suicide.”
Suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians, with new statistics showing 49 young people aged between 15 and 24 took their own lives in WA in 2018. For every suicide, another 25 people attempt to take their own lives.
Last financial year, Youth Focus supported a record number of young people in WA, providing free counselling and assessment services to 4559 young people and school and community education to another 6800 people.
Text the word COFFEE to 0437 371 371 to donate $4 or visit youthfocus.com.au to make a donation online.
A full list of participating cafes can be found at: https://youthfocus.com.au/coffee-cause-2019/
The initiative has been supported by Screenwest and the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, which have sponsored advertising space for Youth Focus on the digital tower at Yagan Square during Mental Health Week.
Nicole Cox – 0419 941 443