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Affiliate Spotlight: SVP Melbourne Tackling Youth Mental Health Crisis in Australia

Posted by socialventurepartners

There is a mental health crisis in Australia, with 1 in 5 adult Australians, and close to 1 in 7 young Australians, experiencing mental health challenges in any given year. SVP Melbourne is responding to this crisis through a partnership with Youth Life4Live (YL4L), which operates a proven evidence-based, community-based model for suicide prevention and mental health education that includes local school and community partnership, evidence based education, youth leadership and participation, and organizational support. 

According to a recently released report commissioned by Future Generation, Australia is experiencing a mental health crisis and private funders are not answering the call. The report’s survey of 56 philanthropists and corporate foundations found that 85% of private funders believe Australia is facing a mental health crisis, yet only 28% directly and consistently invest in mental health causes. Private funders are holding back because:

  • Mental illness is complex and the mental health sector is convoluted.
  • There is significant duplication across mental health delivery.
  • Most mental health charities have little profile and their messages are not resonating.
  • Measuring outcomes is a requirement for funding. 
  • They are not aware of their place in the mental health sector.
  • There are not enough leaders encouraging other funders to invest in mental health.

SVP Melbourne selected Youth Life4Live (YL4L) as an investee in 2018, because it operates a proven evidence-based and community-based model for suicide prevention and mental health education, grown from the ground up. It is in high demand as the blueprint for all rural communities across Victoria, if not Australia, empowering rural Victorian communities to support, improve and invest in young people’s mental health and wellbeing through the implementation of the Live4Life model. 

SVP Melbourne funding and support is being used to help extend their reach into new communities seeking to implement the Youth Life4Live model, fund additional capacity, and work with the Board to address strategy, organisation, and governance needs.

One year into the relationship, Lead Partner, Paula Giles, says: “I have been incredibly fortunate and humbled to see the work that Youth Life4Life do. It is a community led program that enhances the leadership skills of the kids, provides a forum for parents and develops the capacity of the community to look after their young citizens. I have been enormously impressed by the shared energy and talent of YL4L and SVP as we have worked together ‘around the kitchen table’ on this most pressing social issue.”


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