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20Talk - New Face on the Youth Advocacy Block

20Talk - New Face on the Youth Advocacy Block

Written by Atle Edgar Oct 11, 2021

Depending on where you drive around Fremantle and Perth you may have seen some orange and cream banners, posing questions and statements like “Have you checked in with that mate today” or “You are enough”. These are part of a mental health awareness campaign by the local Perth group, 20 Talk.

So who or what are 20Talk and why are they worth listening to?

20Talk are an advocacy group for young people by young people withe a simple goal; to provide relatable and authentic mental health education and awareness content for young people. We sat down with the founders Leighton Bradfield (24) and Lockie O’Donoghue (24) to find out more.

Founded in 2017 after the unfortunate and unexpected suicide of one of their high school friends that rocked their friend group, and another related friend also taking their life 4 months later, the boys realized more needed to be done. What was originally six young men in Leightons parents living room has now grown into a team of at least 11 people and 19 volunteers, working out of the Naval store in Fremantle. They host workshops, events and produce digital content focused on mental health awareness and destigmatization that is engaging and easy to consume, while also providing a powerful focus on individuals and their stories.

So what differentiates them from other organisations in such a big space?

An understanding that reaching youth effectively must be done in a way they enjoy and align with their normal life or media consumption in a genuine way.  Feedback is a large part of their operations cycle so that they can keep on the issues that are afflicting youth.

“With young people, you really have to sit in their shoes and understand what motivates and influences them. A young person is looking at fashion, music, art, and celebrities. If you want to influence them in a positive way, you have to deliver something fresh and new that they actually want to engage with.”  - Leighton

They also spoke on the importance of video content in their method, and why it was so crucial in ensuring their messages reached the desired audience.

“Since 2015 media use has nearly doubled for young people. So, you have to meet them where they’re at.” - Leighton

One of 20 Talk’s most powerful campaigns, titled “Mental Health Story Episodes” is a digital campaign providing videos on YouTube and Instagram of young people openly discussing their experiences and struggles with mental health. These videos provide a powerful resource for destigmatizing mental health allowing people to understand and relate to another’s journey so that they may understand their own. This is an important part of their vision, creating a platform for people to share their experiences, opinions, and ideas on mental health in a safe and community-driven way.

“I think it’s important to be able to relate to other people’s stories and see what worked for them. Because what works for some people just doesn’t work for others.” - Leighton

The campaign is active, with more videos to come. Oqea will also be providing these videos on the Oqea and we encourage you to check them out!

Although still in its infancy 20Talk has been growing quickly. Particularly since Covid the group has had an increase in engagement, not only by people touched by their content but people wanting to volunteer and help them grow further. They are now preparing to transition into a large organisation, focusing on media production relating to mental health awareness. They are excited by the prospect of growth, and the chance to reflect on the past and move into the future.

"We've got 10 things going with only the ability to put 10% of energy intoeach program. It's important for us to figure out which ones have the mostimpact and make them our goal. Over the past year, we've had to strip ourofferings back a little bit, take a little bit of the foot off the pressure,and consolidate our events. We want to really figure out the back-endfoundations so that we can scale them up” - Lockie

We are super excited to see what is coming from the next stage of 20Talk. Especially for more digital content relating to youth and helping to destigmatize mental health. Check out their Instagram @20_talk and website www.20talk.com.au/ for more information.

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20Talk - New Face on the Youth Advocacy Block

Depending on where you drive around Fremantle and Perth you may have seen some orange and cream banners, posing questions and statements like “Have you checked in with that mate today” or “You are enough”. These are part of a mental health awareness campaign by the local Perth group, 20 Talk.

So who or what are 20Talk and why are they worth listening to?

20Talk are an advocacy group for young people by young people withe a simple goal; to provide relatable and authentic mental health education and awareness content for young people. We sat down with the founders Leighton Bradfield (24) and Lockie O’Donoghue (24) to find out more.

Founded in 2017 after the unfortunate and unexpected suicide of one of their high school friends that rocked their friend group, and another related friend also taking their life 4 months later, the boys realized more needed to be done. What was originally six young men in Leightons parents living room has now grown into a team of at least 11 people and 19 volunteers, working out of the Naval store in Fremantle. They host workshops, events and produce digital content focused on mental health awareness and destigmatization that is engaging and easy to consume, while also providing a powerful focus on individuals and their stories.

So what differentiates them from other organisations in such a big space?

An understanding that reaching youth effectively must be done in a way they enjoy and align with their normal life or media consumption in a genuine way.  Feedback is a large part of their operations cycle so that they can keep on the issues that are afflicting youth.

“With young people, you really have to sit in their shoes and understand what motivates and influences them. A young person is looking at fashion, music, art, and celebrities. If you want to influence them in a positive way, you have to deliver something fresh and new that they actually want to engage with.”  - Leighton

They also spoke on the importance of video content in their method, and why it was so crucial in ensuring their messages reached the desired audience.

“Since 2015 media use has nearly doubled for young people. So, you have to meet them where they’re at.” - Leighton

One of 20 Talk’s most powerful campaigns, titled “Mental Health Story Episodes” is a digital campaign providing videos on YouTube and Instagram of young people openly discussing their experiences and struggles with mental health. These videos provide a powerful resource for destigmatizing mental health allowing people to understand and relate to another’s journey so that they may understand their own. This is an important part of their vision, creating a platform for people to share their experiences, opinions, and ideas on mental health in a safe and community-driven way.

“I think it’s important to be able to relate to other people’s stories and see what worked for them. Because what works for some people just doesn’t work for others.” - Leighton

The campaign is active, with more videos to come. Oqea will also be providing these videos on the Oqea and we encourage you to check them out!

Although still in its infancy 20Talk has been growing quickly. Particularly since Covid the group has had an increase in engagement, not only by people touched by their content but people wanting to volunteer and help them grow further. They are now preparing to transition into a large organisation, focusing on media production relating to mental health awareness. They are excited by the prospect of growth, and the chance to reflect on the past and move into the future.

"We've got 10 things going with only the ability to put 10% of energy intoeach program. It's important for us to figure out which ones have the mostimpact and make them our goal. Over the past year, we've had to strip ourofferings back a little bit, take a little bit of the foot off the pressure,and consolidate our events. We want to really figure out the back-endfoundations so that we can scale them up” - Lockie

We are super excited to see what is coming from the next stage of 20Talk. Especially for more digital content relating to youth and helping to destigmatize mental health. Check out their Instagram @20_talk and website www.20talk.com.au/ for more information.