#WeSpeakUp Campaign Aims to Increase Awareness of Mental Health Issues and Reduce Stigma

Mental health service provider Neami National has teamed up with Consumers of Mental Health WA (CoMHWA) to create the #WeSpeakUp campaign.

The campaign is a series of videos featuring 13 West Australians with a lived experience of challenges with mental health and suicide.

The project was an initiative of the Perth Suicide Prevention Coordination Reference Group, which brings together 20+ local agencies working in collaboration to support communities and individuals to reduce stigma and improve understanding of and responses to suicide prevention and postvention.

Featuring a diverse cross-section of age and gender, as well as members of the Aboriginal, LGBTIQ, and CALD communities, the campaign highlights the diversity of lived experience. Participants share their mental health journeys and what has helped them in their recovery. These stories of resilience and hope are a testimony to the fact that mental ill-health can affect anyone and serve as a reminder of the importance of reaching out and connecting with others when feeling unwell.

By featuring local West Australian stories, it is hoped that the campaign will help people identify with participants, start conversations about mental health and suicide, and feel safe to share their own personal stories and seek help.

Neami’s Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Bradley Isbister said, “Neami is working with services across the Perth region to support suicide prevention by adopting a whole-of-community approach. I’m extremely excited about the #WeSpeakUp campaign, which will further our aim to support communities to build resilience and start conversations that make a difference in preventing suicide and reducing stigma.”

Renai Searle, campaign participant and Project Coordinator for CoMHWA said, “I think stories have the power to build connections. Being able to share my story alongside other West Australians is a privilege. I think the project is a fantastic opportunity and I am excited to see how others contribute to it.”

Sharing the campaign

All campaign videos can be streamed from the CoMHWA YouTube channel and downloaded from http://bit.ly/2WyIYi1. All videos can be shared on social media and websites. Please include the #WeSpeakUp hashtag when sharing on social media.

Where to seek support

People seeking non-crisis mental health support can visit their GP and ask for a referral.

People who are unsure about their personal level of risk or a have concern for a friend can use the Think Mental Health WA online check-up tool: https://www.thinkmentalhealthwa.com.au

People requiring immediate help should call:

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78
  • QLife: 1800 184 527