Reach Out is an interactive Jeopardy-style game, which gets students into teams and challenges them to think about what they know and don't know about mental health issues and illnesses. The multi player game is delivered using a computer, data projector and speakers, and is embedded with music, videos and information about emotional health and mental well being. When we play Reach Out with young people, our aim is to initiate conversations about mental health, well being and help seeking.
Mental health is a topic that affects us all. One in five people will experience a mental health issue during their lifetimes and only a fraction will get the help they need. The literature tells us that young people who receive mental health education are more likely to reach out for help during tough times. Reach Out aims to help young people reach out when they need to and/or give help to their friends who may be struggling.
A well-facilitated discussion can help increase awareness and knowledge and battle stigma, a common barrier for those reaching out for help. Facts debunk myths and promote understanding. Young people can help themselves or can act as a supportive navigator to others who might be going through a tough time, especially if they have a solid base about mental health issues and how to get help. All of our outreach tools, including REACH OUT have been created with youth.
By providing youth with relevant and youth friendly information when they need it, we believe we can help young people avoid a more serious crisis that could disrupt their education, their social development and ultimately their confidence in their future. Our goals are: to reduce the stigma attached to seeking help for depression, mental health disorders and suicide, and to promote help seeking behaviours.