HomeWorld NewsNew Perth suicide prevention platform, RightByYou website launched to give youth tools to help a friend
New Perth suicide prevention platform, RightByYou website launched to give youth tools to help a friend
May 3, 2023
Young people are often on the frontline of seeing their friends show signs of suicidal thoughts.
But they’re also not sure what they can do to help.
A new website launched in Perth is hoping to solve this issue by acting as a guide on how to support someone having drastic thoughts.
RightByYou was designed by Generation Z, including project lead Neeka Zand who was prompted to create the platform after calling an ambulance for a struggling friend.
“When I was 23 I had a friend who was going through a distressing situation and one day I was at work and got a really odd but sweet message from her thanking me,” she said.
“I had just done some suicide prevention training so I recognised it was a warning sign. When I couldn’t make contact I knew, in that moment, I had to get emergency response involved. They luckily got to her in time.”
The website, launched by mental health provider Neami National, came about when Ms Zand noticed similar situations happening to hundreds of other young people.
There was one particular death of a high school student that was a major catalyst for the website.
“The friends had saw odd messages, and social media posts but they didn’t know what to do so they just left it, which is a reoccurring thing that happens to many young people,” she said.
“I wanted to create a website where they can quickly find information about what they need to know in those times.”
RightByYou is bringing together educational articles and videos on how to identify warning signs, and what to do if something does occur with a friend in an effort to minimise suicide among young people.
The hub also includes tailored information for people with a disability, parents and carers, LGBTQIA+ and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
In 2021, 434 young Australians died by suicide with a majority amongst those aged 15-17, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
There is approximately 100 to 200 suicide attempts for every suicide among young people.
“It’s a challenging time for young Australians who are still finding their feet and understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic while also navigating a cost-of-living crisis,” Ms Zand said.
“While there is a lot of information available for the person experiencing the crisis, we are empowering their friends with the knowledge and tools to help take preventative action.”
The web tool is launching in Perth as a trial phase in 2023.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or suicidal thoughts, visit rightbyyou.org.au, call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.