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Student/Media Assignments

Good evening,

My name is Kayran and I am writing on behalf of my group members Renae and Darren.

For our Year 12 health group investigation and presentation we have chosen the health campaign White Wreath Day. As a group we are required to select a mental health issue associated with the campaign (Suicide) and investigate the impact of the issue on the health and wellbeing of adolescents. The mental health issue we have chosen is drug and alcohol abuse. I was just wondering if you had any statistics of Suicide in relation to drugs and alcohol abuse that could be used in our presentation.

I was also wondering if you would be able to answer the following questions below:

  1. How does drug and alcohol abuse affect the health and wellbeing of adolescents?
  2. How does drug and alcohol abuse relate to suicide?

It would also be greatly appreciated if you could link any secondary sources on suicide in relation to drug and alcohol abuse.


My name is Bonnie McCormick and I’m a third year student at Swinburne university, and as part of my minor I’m studying an introductory PR course. For an assignment, we are required to contact a NFP organisation of interest to us and to propose a hypothetical public relations plan pitch. As I’m currently studying to be a psychologist, mental health is of great interest to me and I found your organisation’s approach to suicide prevention to be unique and highly pragmatic. I would love to be able to base a PR plan around the goals of your organisation, and to promote public awareness about mental health and the alarming statistics of suicide in Australia. I feel there is definitely a lack of education around the sheer magnitude of suicide and depression, as well as misconceptions regarding the vast demographics affected by these issues. As such, I was wondering if there is an appropriate person who would be willing to provide some feedback on a suggested PR plan in a couple weeks time. Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.

Dear Ms Clark,
Please find below a rough summary of the mock PR plan and a few related questions.
Thank you again for your time and assistance with my assignment.
Best Regards,
Bonnie McCormick

Goal
To increase public awareness of the magnitude and reality of suicide in Australia, the importance of pragmatic approaches, and to further community education through dispelling common myths and misconceptions about those affected by suicide.

Research and situational analysis
There is a substantial lack of community awareness and acknowledgment regarding the prevalence of suicide in Australia, as well as the vast demographics affected by it.

Misconceptions, myths and stigmas surrounding suicide are both vast and common, and can detrimentally impact efforts to reduce suicide rates and increase support and awareness.

Research has found that:

  • Suicide numbers in Australia are some of the highest in the developed world, with recent statistics indicating a greater amount of deaths each year attributed to suicide than to motor vehicle accidents, yet there is very little community awareness of the magnitude of suicide in Australia.
  • Male suicides account for nearly 80% of recorded suicides. Even though suicide accounts for 22% of all deaths among young men between 15-24, this age group has the lowest suicide rate in comparison to other male age groups.
  • Many are surprised to know that suicide rates are particularly high for both men and women over the age of 50, with women in the 50-54 year old age group and men above 85 having the highest rate per age group.
Target Publics
  • The general Queensland and national public
  • Particular focus on males of all age groups, and those over 50.
  • Mainstream media
Strategy

Suicide is an issue that affects a substantial amount of Australian’s and their families every year. Misconceptions and lack of community awareness and education about suicide makes the issue less prevalent in our discourse and harder for those struggling to both understand and seek help for their problems. The strategy will therefor involve an information campaign highlighting statistics on the prevalence and demographics of those affected by suicide, and dispelling popular misconceptions to better inform the public, thereby encouraging community awareness and pragmatic approaches to seeking support.

Key Messages

  • Suicide in Australia can be seen as a silent and staggering epidemic, affecting all demographics and backgrounds.
  • Misconceptions hinder efforts to seek help and understanding.
  • Every life is precious and deserves adequate support
Tactics

1. Produce an educational booklet entitled “The facts about Australian Suicides” containing evidence based information, official statistics and the rates of suicide in Queensland, and of the demographics most affected by suicide. Information highlighting and dispelling common myths and misconceptions of suicide will be included, and the booklet can be easily distributed via the White Wreath website, through mental health facilities and areas attracting vast demographics such as community RSLs and shopping centres.

2. Outdoor and street advertising can be tailored to be both demographic and location specific, enabling an easy avenue to target certain publics. Publish concise and informative newspaper ads and posters contrasting the alarming statistics of suicide to other issues with greater social awareness such as skin cancer and motor vehicle accidents, and highlight the importance of pragmatic approaches such as the White Wreath Association’s safe havens.

3. Distribute all communication materials via social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and produce a dedicated and interactive website entitled ‘The Facts about Australian Suicides’, highlighting rates, demographics and the importance of awareness, informed education and pragmatic approaches to support.

Specific Objectives
1. To increase public awareness of the suicide rates and trends in Australia, as well as the vast demographics affected by it by at least 15 percent over the next twelve months.

2. Increase public education by actively dispelling common myths, stigmas and misconceptions surrounding suicide in Australia by at least 20 per cent over the next twelve months.

3. Raise awareness of the White Wreath organisation and the construction of safe havens as an essential and pragmatic approach to the staggering epidemic of suicide in Australia.

Q1) Do you feel that this campaign accurately reflects the goals and values of your organisation?

Q2) To what extent do you think your audience would agree and/or respond to such a campaign?

Q3) Are there ways in which you think the aims of your organisation can be better implemented into the campaign?

Q4) Are there any additional aims or messages you feel should be incorporated?


My name is Gabriella, a photography student from RMIT University. These days I had a simple thought of suicide simply because I feel the world is not worth living. The urge is not so big that I tried to kill myself, but somehow I am changed since I have this thought. From this, I have an idea to make a documentary portrait of people who had survived suicide attempts and write their story a long with it. With this I hope I can understand myself and the suicide topic better.

So anyone in Melbourne who interested in making this happen, or know somebody who does, please contact me through this email: gabriella_anita @ yahoo.com. The photograph will be published along with the story either in my personal website or a special website if the number of participant is a lot. The volunteers could have the photograph too if they wish to.

The photo shoot and interview will only takes about an hour and refreshments will be provided! I hope this is can be a great opportunity to share your story to the others and having fun while doing it.

Here is my personal photography website to know me better: http://gabriella-rawphotography.weebly.com/

Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.

Regards,

Gabriella

 

 


 

How do stories make a difference?

Hi, my name is Monique. I am a student researcher from the University of Calgary, in Canada.

I am examining how sharing personal stories makes a difference in the ways mental illness is talked about and understood in
society.

My study is focused on the types of stories that appear on websites for consumers, survivors, and ex-patients. I have permission from the White
Wreath office to include the main pages of this site in my study between now and January 31, 2012.

Stories from this site will be referred to anonymously in my research. The member sign-in areas are not included in the research.

This research project has been approved by the University of Calgary, Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board.

You may contact the Ethics Resource Officer if you have concerns or comments, at rburrows@ucalgary.ca.

I can be contacted via email at solomonm@ucalgary.ca. Thank you.

 


 

To whom it may concern,

My name is Sarah Wykes and I am currently studying a Bachelor of Journalism at Griffith University.

As part of an assignment, we are required to write an investigation about a topic of our choice. I decided to write about Queensland’s high rate of youth suicide after reading articles about the topic and having completed research about mental health in the past.

I was wondering if you or the appropriate person could answer a few questions that I could use for the piece. The questions are listed below.

  • Do you think the amount of rural area in Queensland is a factor, as people in these areas are unable or less equipped to access services to help depression/mental health issues?
  • One out of four youth receive professional help for their mental health problems. Is the problem issues such as not knowing where to get help from, the expense of seeking help and thinking you  can handle it on your own?
  • Does the large access to technology play a part, as the bullying follows the youth into their homes through their mobiles and internet and could lead towards depression or having suicidal thoughts.
  • Should there be more help available for teachers and parents, so they adequately know how to help somebody suffering from a mental health issue?
  • Is reporting of mental health an issue, as between 2004 – 2007 42% of suicides for youth aged between 10 – 17 was contagion or imitative.
  • What advice can be given to someone with a mental health issue, and the family/friends of someone with a mental health issue?

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

I can be contacted on sarah_elise@live.com.au