Roots of Change is a storytelling platform dedicated to the Alumni community of The Funding Network Australia. Here we share their stories of ingenuity, courage, determination, spirit, growth and the impact these grassroots organisations have had, as a direct result of funds and support received from The Funding Network community.

Mental Illness Education ACT

Mental Illness Education ACT

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Providing education and awareness in relation to living with a mental illness.

Mental Illness Education ACT works in the youth, school and community setting to provide education and awareness in relation to living with a mental illness. They use personal stories to demystify mental health problems and to contribute to increasing the likelihood of young people seeking help early. 


2017 Pitch
Funds raised: $28,310

MIEACT pitched at TFN Canberra on 21 September and raised $28,310 to develop and begin to deliver a bullying prevention program, that not only provides support to victims of bullying, but also develops strong social networks to better prevent bullying in the first instance, while also encouraging initiators of bullying behaviour to seek support to begin to address the root causes of their own actions.


The impact…

1 in 5 people have participated in harassing and bullying behaviour in their lives. And even more people have experienced it at some point of their lives. But what isn’t well known is that most people who engage in bullying behaviour are often themselves bullied and victims of unresolved trauma. Giving credence to the words Sam said during her pitch “hurt people hurt people”. With the proliferation of social media, the social landscape has never been so complicated, constant and overwhelming.  

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The ‘No Labels’ program has been designed to work not only with those who are being bullied, but also with those who are doing the bullying and those who are witnessing it. By empowering all sides to identify behaviours and speak out, they begin to re-evaluate what they say and do to others and hold each other accountable. During the trial program, self-reported bullying behaviour rose from 52% to 82% and confidence in implementing strategies around bullying behaviour saw a 43% increase. Below is a case study of the program in action.

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“A 15-years-old girl is in her first relationship. When he tells her, she can only wear certain clothes, not to wear make-up or that she can only have certain friends she doesn’t think anything of it. She is in love. 11 months pass, and she finds out he has been cheating on her the whole time. She is devastated. But she decides to end the relationship.”

“He isn’t happy. He recruits his friends and together they flood her inbox with mean messages. She hears comments in the halls. The friends she does have send her messages too. They try to support her. But ultimately she can’t escape it. Every message continues to exacerbate her anxiety, her worry.”

“She wants to tell her Mum, but she is unwell. She feels isolated and alone and she fears the repercussions if she does tell someone. The roller-coaster continues. Even when she changes schools. She has a reputation she has no control over it.”

“She considers ending her life.”

“After the No Labels program that young girl’s life begins to change. Her friends re-evaluate how they interact with each other and check in on what is ok. She has identified support networks she didn't think about or know existed and puts a plan in place to ask for help. That guy’s friends start to say no, about getting involved and sending messages. They now realise the impact it was having. He answers yes to the question “Am I participating in bullying behaviour?” and realises he needs help too and knows where to go for it.”

“That young girl grows up.” - Heidi Prowse, Executive Officer

MIEACT have already rolled out the program across the ACT and aim to have delivered 45 sessions by June 2019.

Read their Impact Report.


Learn more about Mental Illness Education ACT.

mieact.org.au

St Kilda Gatehouse

St Kilda Gatehouse

Women's Centre for Health Matters

Women's Centre for Health Matters