Western Australians are being encouraged to step up for suicide prevention and join the Youth Focus fitness challenge, Lavan Fit30.
The fundraising campaign, which encourages participants to move their bodies and motivate their minds for 30 minutes a day, each day of September, will raise vital funds for Youth Focus to continue its life-saving work in youth mental health and suicide prevention.
Youth Focus has teamed with Perth legal firm Lavan to stage the annual fundraising event, which has been embraced by schools, community groups and individuals since 2016.
Participants are urged to seek support from their friends, family and colleagues to raise money for Youth Focus. Funds raised will help Youth Focus provide young people with free, unlimited counselling and suicide prevention education in schools.
Youth Focus Chief Executive Officer Fiona Kalaf encouraged Western Australians to get behind Lavan Fit30 to improve their own mental and physical fitness while supporting the life-saving work of Youth Focus at the same time.
“The benefits of exercise and mindfulness for good mental health are well documented,” Ms Kalaf said.
“Research shows that exercise improves brain function, attentiveness, concentration and mood by releasing endorphins and feel good chemicals that trigger positive feelings.
“Building exercise, recreation and mindfulness into your day activates your brain and increases your ability to focus on tasks, making you more efficient and productive.”
Suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians, with latest statistics showing 54 young people aged between 15 and 24 took their own lives in Western Australia in 2016. For every suicide, another 20 people attempt to take their own lives.
In addition, one in four young Australians live with a mental health condition, with 75 per cent of mental illnesses first appearing in people under the age of 25.
Ms Kalaf said: “We are incredibly grateful to Lavan and supporters of Lavan Fit30 for their commitment to youth mental health and suicide prevention in Western Australia.”
“Without this sort of generosity and commitment, we would not be able to provide as many young people with critical counselling services and suicide prevention in schools.”
Last financial year, Youth Focus supported a record number of young people in WA, providing free counselling and assessment services to 3654 young people and school and community education to another 6000 people.
To sign up for Lavan Fit30 2018, visit https://www.everydayhero.com.au/event/LavanFit30
If you or someone you know needs urgent support please contact the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Nicole Cox – 0419 941 443