TalkLife launches online campaign to encourage young people to start talking about their mental health.
TalkLife, an online peer support network for young people, is encouraging people to start talking about how they’re really feeling. The #howareyoureally campaign focuses on getting people to look out for each other and feeling that it’s ok to share when things aren’t so good.
“We know that talking about difficult things for the first time is challenging and some people can feel embarrassed or see it as a weakness, but really it’s a strength. Sharing in a safe place or with someone you trust can really help.” Jamie Druitt, TalkLife CEO
We are quick to talk about the good parts of life with family and friends but it’s not so easy to start talking about the not so good parts of life but everyone goes through them. TalkLife is asking people to start asking the question ‘how are you really? Sometimes listening is tough, it can feel uncomfortable and it can be hard to know what to say but just being there for someone can help them.
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Brad (22) realised that opening up was the first step to recovery.
“At 19, after a breakup, I was hit with depression. Living in university halls alone, with massive debt and failing my studies, I began to spiral deeper and deeper into a numbness and fatigue. I knew something was wrong, but I was too embarrassed to share it. The longer I hid and denied how bad I was feeling, the worse it became. It was only when a friend opened up to me about their struggles that I felt able to share mine. Doing that was the first step in my recovery. It let me know that I wasn’t alone, that recovery was possible and allowed me to re-build the foundations that I found at rock bottom”
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Draven (22) went through a rough patch when things all got too much.
“I was working 35 hours a week, my classwork was really difficult and my family life was full of fighting and arguing. I wasn’t sleeping and always felt tired and in pain. It seemed like there was no end to it all. It was difficult, but talking about my problems helped me realise that it’s ok to ask for help when I really need it. There’s so much stigma around mental health that before, I was expected to deal with things on my own. I came across TalkLife which really helped me to start talking more, it was a place where I could say what was on my mind without worrying about what people would think and not having to feel like I had to deal with it on my own”
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Niamh, (20) saw she wasn’t alone and felt more able to share
“I found starting university really hard and I felt like I couldn’t reach out to my friends. I’d never spoken about how I felt, I didn’t want to be a burden on people. But life got too much for me and I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I told my mum I needed to talk someone. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with depression and referred to a therapist. During this dark time there was a three week period when I couldn’t see my therapist, I was scared. On the app store I decided to search depression and saw ‘TalkLife,’ a mental health forum. What I found was incredible, people with the same issues as me or with issues I had gone through myself, it was at this point it clicked… I really am not alone. I made friends on the app, these people soon became people I can always talk to. Slowly, I learnt how to open up to people in my everyday life too. I wouldn’t have gotten this far without Talklife.”
The Mental Health Foundation this week announced that up to 20% of adolescents will experience a mental health problem in any given year. With so many struggling it’s time we started opening up more. TalkLife hopes that by encouraging people to share and to be there to listen to others, we can put an end to people suffering in silence and make sure people are getting the support they need.
“Mental health touches everyone in some way across their lifetime and we want to make sure it is a conversation young people feel able, and supported to have. TalkLife aims to make these conversations a normal part of life. There is no need to pretend to be fine, to say ‘I’m ok’ when you don’t feel it or only share the parts of yourself that seem ‘acceptable’ to society.” Jamie Druitt, CEO
Notes to Editor:
TalkLife is an online peer support network for young people to talk about the ups and downs of life. With 450K users globally TalkLife supports people to give and get support and to talk about their mental health.
TalkLife is free to download App in the iOS and Android stores.
TalkLife partners with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and Microsoft Research and has developed a world-first platform using machine learning and human-in-the-loop computing to give trained professionals the ability to offer TalkLife users assistance and services, specific to their individual circumstances, in real time. TalkLife’s rich dataset was the foundation for this research with the aim to better understand, predict self-harm and create meaningful interventions.
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TalkLife iOS –https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/talklife-share-life-youre-not…/id449804588?mt=8
TalkLife Android – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bearpty.talklife&hl=en_GB
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