Perth-based leading mining services provider Mineral Resources (MinRes) has teamed up with West Coast Eagles star defender Jeremy McGovern to promote mental health awareness to school students in Western Australia.
It is all in support of Youth Focus, a WA-based not-for-profit organisation that offers a range of mental health services to young people. MinRes has been a Premier Youth Focus Partner since 2013 while McGovern is a Youth Focus Ambassador.
The 20th annual Hawaiian Ride for Youth, which raises funds for Youth Focus, sets off on March 22 when riders depart Albany for the 700km, five-day ride to Perth.
When the traditional in-person school visits by riders had to be paused because of COVID, the Youth Focus team had to pivot to a new model of engagement. They connected with McGovern and the MinRes team of cyclists to record video messages about their mental health journeys, which will be played to school students throughout the ride.
The videos share valuable information about Youth Focus’ services and promote positive mental health messages to encourage young people to reach out if they need support.
For McGovern, a former student of North Albany Senior High School from where the Ride for Youth begins, the opportunity to support Youth Focus is the perfect fit.
“Mental health is such a big issue so I want to help and give back as much as I can – we all have our mental health challenges and Youth Focus is leading the way to help young people with resources and advice,” McGovern says.
“The more we talk about it, the more we normalise mental health conversations so that there’s no need to feel ashamed to reach out.”
MinRes has extended its partnership with Youth Focus for another three years, having contributed more than $2 million since 2013. This builds on the strong foundation of mental health-related activities the company provides both for MinRes employees and the wider community.
MinRes Head of Mental Health, Chris Harris, said the company recognised the growing need for mental health support for young people. Harris said increasing awareness, reducing stigma and talking more frequently about mental health were some of the best ways to support those going through tough times.
Youth Focus CEO, Arthur Papakotsias, said the organisation was grateful for the generous ongoing support of MinRes. He said partnering with MinRes and the West Coast Eagles created a unique opportunity to promote positive mental health and wellbeing to young people and communities.
“This important partnership brings youth mental health and suicide prevention to the fore and creates vital conversations about the profound and far-reaching impact of youth suicide,” Papakotsias says.
“Suicide is the leading cause of death for young Western Australians but – collectively – we can make a difference.”
Ride for Youth donations can be made at rideforyouth.com.au