The Live4Life initiative commenced in 2009 in response to a reported increase in anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide amongst young people in the rural communities of the Macedon Ranges Shire. The organisation operates with support from the Macedon Ranges Shire Council who currently deliver the national award winning, locally based Live4Life initiative. Two further rural communities were selected to trial the Live4Life model in 2016, Benalla Rural City and Glenelg Shire.
The initiative has four essential components that have been designed, implemented and independently evaluated for over five years in the Macedon Ranges Shire, in central Victoria. It is the combined delivery of these four essential components that is critical to local success and sustainability of the model. All elements are locally adaptable and flexible depending on the size and capacity of the local rural community. The core components are:
- The Local Partnership Group (comprising of both schools and the community)
- Delivering evidence based suicide prevention and mental health education across all secondary schools and community groups
- Implementation of local youth leadership and participation program
- Coordination, support and mentoring by Youth Live4Life Inc. Staff and Board.
Since its inception , the Live4Life initiative working with local government, schools and community organisations has trained over 8,100 community members in mental health education. This has included over 4,850 year 8 students, over 2,400 year 11 students and over 900 teachers, parents and community members.
Live4Life is a fun way for young people to engage with mental health concepts increasing mental health literacy, help seeking and help offering behaviours. A Live4Life crew of Year 9 and 10 students assist in the delivery of education to Year 8 students and events.
Live4Life - youth suicide prevention is building communities in rural Victoria to better understand and support young people.
If you live/work in rural Victoria and believe your community is up for this, check out Live4Life.