David Rooney - September 2022
Many hands make right work: Meet One Eighty
After losing a close friend to suicide five years ago, Paris Jeffcoat knew more needed to be done in the Mental Health space. She founded One Eighty, a youth mental health charity run by young people for young people. We sat down with Paris to find out more about the charity.
Q) Tell us about One Eighty. What do you do and what services do you provide?
A) At One Eighty our vision is a future free of youth suicide. We deliver youth-led, peer to peer models of support for young people, which make them feel seen, connected, and supported.
Our peer support sessions run multiple times a week, and are free for anyone aged 18-29 to attend. We also offer community training opportunities for people to upskill their mental health literacy.
Q) What inspired you to start One Eighty?
A) Mental health challenges and youth suicide were, and unfortunately still are, massive challenges facing not only us nationally, but closer to home at a local level. I am one of many who simply felt that more had to be done in the space to support young people.
Q) What is one massive goal you have?
A) Eventually we plan to scale our peer support program to a national scale, to really maximise the impact and reach of this program that we so deeply believe in and can see the benefits of!
Q) What is the most memorable thing that has happened since starting One Eighty?
A) Our recent fundraising gala at the Boathouse Shelly Beach was such a memorable event - after having to postpone the event for over 2 years due to covid, we were so grateful for it to finally go ahead and to be so warmly received by the community!
It was so amazing to see so many of our supporters in one space, and to spend the night celebrating One Eighty’s achievements with them!
Q) What's something we can do today to improve the mental health of young Aussies and Kiwis?
A) Educate and upskill yourself! You never know when you’ll need to be able to recognise when a friend, family member or colleague needs support, or when you’ll need the skills to be able to actually support them.
We recommend Lifeline Accidental Counsellor or Mental Health First Aid training - both of which One Eighty offers community members at a fully subsidised rate!
Q) What resources or tools can you recommend to help with mental health?
A) Good sleep habits, regular moderate exercise, and being conscious of how your diet is affecting your energy levels and mood. If you can, speak to a GP or other professional about how to best incorporate these tools healthily into your life to improve your mental health.
Q) How can people donate to One Eighty?
A) We accept donations here on our Raisely page (all donations over $2 are tax deductible).