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uLaunch x Purple Hands: Goals aHead program

Kids facing a Goals aHead Mentor.

uLaunch is proud to be a major sponsor of the ‘Goals aHead’ program, developed in partnership between the Purple Hands Foundation and zero2hero. The program has been making significant strides in addressing youth mental health issues in Western Australia.

Over eight weeks, this program specifically designed for Year 8 and 9 students, combines physical activity with classroom-based learning to educate and empower young people about mental health. It aims to increase mental health literacy, reduce stigma, and encourage help-seeking behaviours.

We believe that investing in youth mental health is crucial for building connected, thriving communities. We are committed to making a positive impact with Purple Hands and see empowering young people to be resilient and knowledgeable as key to achieving this vision,” Mark Burns, Country Leader and MD, at uLaunch stated.

Youth mental health issues are on the rise in Western Australia, where 1 in 4 young people are currently experiencing poor mental health, and the state has the second-highest rate of youth suicide in the country.

That’s why prevention, early intervention and mental health education is more important than ever before, and why we need to start by empowering our young people with the tools they need to handle life’s challenges,” Gemma West, Project Manager at zero2hero stated.

The Goals aHead program seeks to reverse these troubling trends by engaging students in meaningful conversations and activities designed to build resilience and promote mental well-being.

Students listening to a Get aHead mentor in a gym

One parent, Kelly, shared the transformative impact the program had on her daughter, highlighting that, “those nine weeks I definitely saw a massive difference in her confidence. She was able to make new friendships, and her confidence and self-esteem grew along with the other participants in the program as well,” Kelly noted.

The Goals aHead program not only benefits the students but also extends its positive impact to families and school staff, providing a comprehensive support system.

Purple Hands Foundation General Manager, Donna Rendell, reflected on the transformation of the students during the 8-week program.

“By providing students with resources and support to prioritise their mental health, we witness them develop a stronger sense of belonging among their peers, and understand more about their own well-being”, Rendell said.

The Goals aHead program was delivered to over 140 students in 2023, with results demonstrating participants increasing their knowledge of mental health support networks, a substantial decrease in stigmatised opinions and a significant proportion of participants reporting they found it easier to relate to and support their peers after the program.

uLaunch, powered by AKG, continues to support the Purple Hands Foundation aims to increase the level of participation greatly in 2024 and beyond, so that the program can have a wider impact among West Australian students.

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