M8D8 is a campaign from Youth Focus that encourages young men to take the time to talk things through with their mates – before problems get too big to cope with.
Proudly supported by Alcoa, M8D8 aims to support young men in the Peel region to have conversations about mental health.
The campaign is part of a long-standing community partnership between Alcoa and Youth Focus, supporting the mental health of young people in Kwinana, Peel and the Upper South-West areas of Western Australia.
Despite positive work, mental health challenges continue to increase. An Australian Bureau of Statistics report shows that 47 young people aged between 15 and 24 died from intentional self-harm in Western Australia in 2021.
“Over a third of the young people who access Youth Focus services in the Peel region have complex mental health needs,” said Mark Barrett-Lennard, Youth Focus clinical manager for Peel and the South-West.
“Through the South-West, loneliness and isolation and remoteness from services are a big issue. M8D8 was developed to help young men support each other, by making time to catch up and talk about what’s on their mind.”
Youth Focus developed the M8D8 campaign after hearing from young men in the region, including apprentices at Alcoa’s Pinjarra Alumina Refinery, students at local high schools, and Pinjarra Tigers football players. With input from the young men and support from Alcoa, Youth Focus developed a proactive campaign designed for the local community.
“The overwhelming sentiment in this region is the importance of mates. At this age, your mates are the people who know you best, and who you can trust to have honest conversations with,” Mark says.
“What we found, from talking to the young men in the region, is that simple conversations can make a huge and profound difference. A check-in at footy training, or a chat at work, can have a big impact on your mental health.”
Alcoa Corporate Affairs Director Jodie Read said Alcoa was proud to work alongside Youth Focus on such an important initiative and to have some of the company’s apprentices feature in the campaign.
“As one of the largest employers in the Peel region, we know it’s important to support and highlight mental health issues among our employees,” Ms Read said. “You never know when a crib room chat could make all the difference.”
The M8D8 campaign urges young men to look out for each other, identifying warning signs and providing advice on checking in with a mate.
Youth Focus exists to support young people who experience mental health challenges to thrive in their community. Youth Focus delivers services and programs for people aged 12 to 25 that are tailored specifically for young people.
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