Agent raises awareness for mental health

A Victorian real estate agent has founded his own charity to promote mental health issues in young Australians.

Officially launched last week during Mental Health Week, David Wright of The Coast Real Estate in Parkdale, Melbourne has been planning and promoting 'Ties For Lives' for over a year.

The campaign aims to reduce youth homelessness, self-harm and suicide by reminding people to spot those at risk by wearing red and white spotted ties.

The launch event was held at City Square in Melbourne.

The initiative is in response to recent personal situations and alarming and tragic statistics, Mr Wright said.

“I invited employees, community leaders and industry professionals to form a public charity for youth wellbeing," he told Real Estate Business.

“We’ve spent over a year in research and planning to create a series of engaging public events that anyone, anywhere, anytime can get involved with. Ties For Lives is an easy way to give a helping hand to a complex problem that touches every community."

Mr Wright refers to a report by the Inspire Foundation & Ernst and Young, entitled 'Counting the Cost', that finds young men’s mental illness in Australia is costing the economy more than $3 billion each year in lost productivity.

Mr Wright said he was happy with the turnout and support from both businesses and individuals.

“[Last week's launch event was] very well received with a crowd of 200 that grew to about 800," he said.

“Late today we have had call from a major bank to do something with us and ... An SEO company has also said that they'll send out a global email to their opt-in client base of 800,000 businesses and 1.1 million consumers.

“The most rewarding [aspect] was a crew of volunteers that helped today. We affectionately call Spotters, a young group who have all lost friends to suicide or have been going through a tough time.”

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