Dozens of posties and Australia Post delivery drivers have donned colourful socks in an important show of solidarity against the biggest killer of young people in the nation.
The Youth Focus initiative, dubbed ‘Sock it to Suicide’, has been organised to align with World Suicide Prevention Day today, which raises crucial awareness about the high number of people taking their own lives.
To coincide with the global awareness campaign, Youth Focus encouraged the community to wear bright, bold socks as an important youth mental health message to help arrest the staggering trend of youth suicide.
Youth Focus gifted more than 200 pairs of Smiley Socks to Australia Post staff from Perth Airport and Welshpool delivery centres, with workers making a generous donation to the Burswood-based charity.
Suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians, with latest statistics showing 51 young people aged between 15 and 24 took their own lives in Western Australia in 2017.
Research shows that for every suicide, another 25 people attempt to take their own lives.
Australia Post Operations Manager at the Perth Airport Parcel Delivery Centre Christopher Noel said it was important to promote mental health awareness.
“With more than 60 staff members involved across various part of the organisation – from posties to drivers and post office staff – Australia Post is proud to support the Sock it to Suicide campaign,” he said.
Youth Focus Chief Executive Officer Arthur Papakotsias said the Sock it to Suicide campaign created an opportunity for community members to broach important conversations about mental health to help curb youth suicide.
“We thank Australia Post for their commitment to raising awareness to help counter the grave number of young people being lost to suicide, and importantly, helping to raise awareness about the work of Youth Focus, which provides vital mental health assistance to WA youths facing challenging times,” Mr Papakotsias said.
“As a community, we all have a role to play to ensure more young lives are not lost to suicide. This initiative is about raising critical awareness about the serious impacts of youth suicide in an upbeat way that resonates with young people.
“We hope it will encourage more young people to start important conversations if they are facing mental health challenges and need support.”
Last financial year, Youth Focus supported a record number of young people in WA, providing free counselling and assessment services to 4559 youths and school and community education to another 6800 people.
The range of fun, colourful socks, dubbed Smiley Socks, was launched by Transit Clothing last year and were sold in-store to raise funds for Youth Focus counselling, mental health support and suicide prevention services.
Nicole Cox – 0419 941 443