Chaotic morning routines, while different in every family, are ultimately always the same. Our house was no different. My 13-year-old son Harrison, would usually depart for school by saying goodbye to our dog first (of course) and then it was my turn. I’d tell him I loved him, and he would reply ‘’I love you too’’ and then do this thing with his phone, and his friends, often at the same time.
But on one morning in 2014, something else happened. Harrison was busy texting - and he walked out the door, probably not hearing me call out, ‘I love you’. And at 10:15 a.m. that morning, I was told that Harrison was dead. And that it appeared he had taken his own life.
I know I’ll never get Harrison back. But I’ll live the rest of my life wondering why a 13-year old boy - a child so typical, so normal, so laugh-out-loud funny, and so loved - had the emotional strength and fortitude to end his.
Would he have recognised negative thought patterns and feelings? Would he have known how to put into words what he was feeling that particular morning? Would he have gone out of his comfort zone to approach someone, or make a phone call to ask for help? Would he have even recognised what he needed help with?
I doubt it.
I miss him still, every single day. But I am determined to prevent it happening to another family, to another mum, or dad, or sister or brother, or niece or nephew.
Our mission is to increase the rate of help-seeking by young people in emotional distress.
Our vision is to reduce the rate of intentional self-harm to zero.
THE ANSWER IS IN OUR HANDS (LITERALLY!)
All mental health providers encourage people to ask for help when they feel troubled, sad, hopeless, anxious or lonely. Advice includes speaking to a friend or family, your GP, or a call to any of the available organisations such as Lifeline, Kids Helpline or Beyond Blue.
The problem is that the majority of kids - especially boys and young men - don’t do this. Most of the time (shock, horror!) they’d rather be on their phone, staring at a screen as a diversion from reality...
So we created a simple app as a platform to enable all young people to ask for help at the touch of a button - from known, non-judgemental, welcoming, and trusted adults and friends.
The aim? To stop small problems becoming large ones, and large ones becoming catastrophic. We can even direct young people to professional mental health organisations when needed (something that happens for 1 in 4 young people). Best of all, we use a rock-solid resource to do it – known and trusted people which we call your ‘Crew’.
Meet our crew – a wide and varied team of professionals that offer a range of specialist services to keep us up-to-date, in-the-know, and focused on the big vision.