To help support young people when it comes to their mental health and healthy coping strategies, DrinkWise and Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, with the support of ReachOut have created the ‘Never Have I Ever’ campaign.
Research from ReachOut found a substantial increase in the number of young people feeling more negatively about the future, compared to before COVID (44 per cent vs 20 cent pre-COVID), and how 8 per cent may be turning to alcohol or drugs during tough times1.
With this month’s floods throughout the Macquarie electorate, there is added concern that these feelings of stress and anxiety might be heightened for young people in the local community.
The new initiative uses the popular Never Have I Ever concept to ask questions that prompt young people to think about their mental health and to remind them that alcohol is not the answer to coping with those challenges. It reinforces that asking for help is ok and that support services are there to provide help and advice if needed.
With the support of the Australian Hotels Association and ReachOut, Never Have I Ever themed posters, coasters, bathroom stalls and bar mats will be displayed in 28 pubs, clubs and bars throughout the Macquarie electorate in regional New South Wales.
Australian Hotels Association NSW Director of Liquor and Policing John Green said the Australia Hotels Association NSW is happy to support this initiative to help encourage conversations about mental health.
“Pubs are integral to our local communities – and they are essential for rebuilding communities on the other side of a crisis – especially after COVID and the recent floods. We want to ensure that as people come back together at licensed venues, to socialise, have a meal, catch up with friends and family, they also use these opportunities to talk about local issues and support each other” said John Green.
The initiative, which doesn’t involve the consumption of alcohol, promotes young adults to consider difficult questions, including:
- Never Have I Ever – Been worried about a mate’s mental health
- Never Have I Ever – Started drinking to overcome anxiety
- Never Have I Ever – Used drinking as a way to cope
DrinkWise CEO Simon Strahan believes getting young adults to open-up about their challenges is vital.
“It’s critical that young adults know that professional help and support is available from ReachOut and other mental health services – and that trying to relieve stress and anxiety with drugs or alcohol is never the answer.
“This campaign is about prompting young adults to have a conversation with each other and highlighting that asking for help is a sign of strength,” he said.
Source1: Figures taken from ReachOut’s Study Stress survey (a national study of 1177 young people aged 1425 years, conducted in September 2021) and ReachOut’s Future Brand survey (a national study of 1104 young people aged 14-25 years, conducted October 2021).