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M8D8 campaign urges young men to be there for each other’s mental health

Youth Focus has launched the M8D8 2024 campaign, an initiative aimed at encouraging young men to look out for each other, and be there for a mate’s mental health.

The M8D8 campaign was developed by Youth Focus with the backing of longstanding partner, Alcoa, to help support the mental health of young people in Kwinana, Peel, and the Upper South West areas of Western Australia.

Mental health awareness and support for young people is more important than ever, particularly in regional areas of Western Australia, where young people may experience barriers to accessing services, including distance and cost.

Mark Barrett-Lennard, Youth Focus Regional Manager for Peel and the South West, said that the mental health and wellbeing of young people in the Peel and South West regions remains a primary focus for Youth Focus.

“Each year we support hundreds of young people in these regions, in our locations and in schools,” he said.

“Many young men in the Peel and South West regions are struggling with loneliness and isolation, which is often compounded by remoteness from the services they need to support them.”

Youth Focus developed the M8D8 campaign in collaboration with young men, including apprentices at Alcoa’s Pinjarra Alumina Refinery, students at local high schools, and Pinjarra Tigers football players. The focus is on encouraging young men to make time to hang out, be real, and to be there for each other.

“We rely on the people closest to us, and that’s why M8D8 is such an important campaign, because it encourages friends to look out for each other and maintain their connections,” said Mr Barrett-Lennard.

“Building a network of mates who can support each other is crucial.”

As a major employer in the Peel and South West, Alcoa’s Interim Vice President of Operations Tanya Simmonds said the company was proud to support the campaign.

“M8D8 sparks an important conversation across our workforce, particularly among our young trade, apprentice, and graduate employees” she reflected.

“We know young men are twice as likely to take their own life, and far less likely to seek mental health support services. This is particularly pronounced throughout regional WA.

“The M8D8 campaign is shining a light on this issue and helping the community to be involved in solution,” she said.

For more information, visit, or follow @m8d8_wa on Instagram.

Support services
Mental Health Emergency Response Line: 1300 555 788
CAMHS Crisis Connect: 1800 048 636
13YARN: 13 92 76
Here for You: 1800 437 348
Rurallink: 1800 552 002
Lifeline: 13 11 14