April 20, 2023

M8D8 campaign gets young guys talking

Alcoa apprentices featuring in the M8D8 Campaign.

Youth Focus and Alcoa are proud to launch the M8D8 campaign that encourages young men to take the time to talk things through with their mates - before problems get too big to cope with.

The campaign aims to support young men in the Kwinana, Peel, and Upper South West region of Western Australia to have conversations about mental health.

The campaign is part of Alcoa’s long-standing community partnership with Youth Focus, supporting the mental health of young people in the communities near where the resources company operates.

 Despite positive work, mental health challenges continue to increase. An Australian Bureau of Statistics report shows that 47 young people aged between 15 and 24 died from intentional self-harm in Western Australia in 2021.

“Over a third of the young people who access Youth Focus services in the region have complex mental health needs,” Mark Barrett-Lennard, Youth Focus clinical manager for Peel and the South-West said.

  “Through the south-west, loneliness and isolation and remoteness from services are a big issue. M8D8 was developed to help young men support each other, by making time to catch up and talk about what’s on their mind.”

Youth Focus developed the M8D8 campaign after hearing from young men in the region including apprentices at Alcoa’s Pinjarra Alumina Refinery. With input from the young men and support from Alcoa, Youth Focus developed a proactive campaign designed for the local community.

“The overwhelming sentiment in this region is the importance of mates. At this age, your mates are the people who know you best, and who you can trust to have honest conversations with,” Mr Barrett-Lennard said.

Alcoa Corporate Affairs Director Jodie Read said the resources company was proud to work alongside Youth Focus on such an important initiative and to have some apprentices feature in the campaign. 

“As one of the largest employers in the Peel region, we know it’s important to support and highlight mental health issues among our employees,” Ms Read said. “You never know when a crib room chat could make all the difference.

The M8D8 campaign urges young men to look out for each other, identifying warning signs and providing advice on checking in with a mate. 

 Youth Focus exists to support young people who experience mental health challenges to thrive in their community. Youth Focus delivers services and programs for people aged 12 to 25 that are tailored specifically for young people.