Live4Life heads interstate

Youth Live4Life has secured an $871,163 federal government grant to expand its award-winning youth mental health and suicide prevention program interstate. Pictured are: Braemar College students Isabella and Paris, mental health first aid instructor Charlie Bracey and Youth Live4Life crew development support worker Kyle Hayes: Kim Selby Photography

Youth Live4Life is expanding its award-winning youth mental health and suicide prevention program interstate, thanks to an $871,163 federal government grant announced last week.

Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, visited Woodend last Wednesday to announce the grant recipients from the National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program.

“We are thrilled to have secured funding to pilot Live4Life in one interstate region in 2023, and to activate our first interstate partnership by 2024,” Live4Life CEO Bernard Galbally said.

“This grant will enable us to both trial the award-winning Live4Life program and complete a thorough evaluation of its impact on the local community.”

Live4Life is a youth mental health and suicide prevention initiative designed specifically for rural and regional communities.

The evidence-based model builds both young people, and the local rural community’s capacity to recognise mental health concerns and seek and offer help.

The Live4Life model was developed in 2010 by Macedon Ranges Shire Council as a community-wide response to an increase in youth mental health issues within the shire.

Macedon Ranges mayor, Cr Jennifer Anderson, said the program had proven to be a great success thanks to the hard work and commitment over many years of the Live4Life staff and board, and passionate shire staff, councillors and community members.

“We are extremely proud of the Live4Life program and the role council played in its initial implementation,” Cr Anderson said.

The program currently operates in nine Victorian communities; Bass Coast Baw Baw, Benalla, Central Goldfields, Glenelg, Macedon Ranges, Moira, South Gippsland Southern Grampians.

“More than 20 rural and regional LGAs across Australia have already expressed interest in implementing our model. We hope to reach 92 Australian communities by 2030 and this is a significant step towards this goal,” Mr Galbally said.

Live4Life is featured in the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System’s final report as a case study ‘highlighting innovation in community-led mental health solutions for young people’.

Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health.