The Reachout.com website is a self described “online youth mental health service”. The site is not a clinical service, so there is not any “professional” help so to speak. It does however offer tips, insights, stress management techniques and stories from relatable people and famous faces about mental health issues such as depression.
Being an online offering, it is already helping direct itself at youth. It’s also something that young people can access privately, without feeling possibly judgment from family or peers, which is vital in this kind of area. As a text, this website presents helpful, potentially life saving information in an easy to understand way that is simple to access. With Photos, Videos and regular old text helping form a website that is interactive enough and engaging enough to help people think twice about mental illness, and possibly seek further help if they feel the need to.
It uses friendly articles that talk about situations common to young people to help explain that mental illness can happen to anyone, and that there is help available. The advice ranges from direct information about depression, sexuality and of course school situations. It doesn’t make you feel bad for flunking in class, but instead offers guidance and ways to avoid stress and study better. This is very important, especially as some of the people who would be viewing this website could be from less than adequate families or other support structures.
This website then has many stakeholders, including those who are seeking help, thought to other Mental Health Organisations, and to some extent government – with regard to Mental Health funding, particularly as it was recently recommended that a large amount of mental health funding be re-allocated from in-hosptial care to things such as awareness programs and prevention.
All in all, the site does a great job of providing information to young people, and is a vital text in this realm.