Love makes the word go around
IF you have seen the word ‘Love’ singing out from billboards across the western suburbs lately, you have probably wondered what it was all about.
Behind the mysterious campaign was Space Real Estate director Justin Davies, who wanted to bring mental health into the spotlight.
During the campaign, Space Real Estate donated $750 for every property sold in May to nonprofit suicide prevention organisation Youth Focus.
The Napoleon Street agency raised more than $25,000 – enough money to cover the cost of six months of intensive counselling for 20 young people in need.
Mr Davies said the campaign was intentionally kept mysterious, as he did not want to use it as a drive for listings; he just wanted to help out.
Youth Focus founder and chief executive Jenny Allen said it was heart-warming to have a local business embrace a mental health cause.
“There’s still a lot of stigma out there,” Ms Allen said.
“Anything to do with mental health and suicide, there’s this fear around it.
“That’s now changing. Campaigns such as Space’s Love campaign help make it OK to talk about these subjects.
“When I started Youth Focus 15 years ago, people would dive under the table if I mentioned the word ‘suicide’.”
Ms Allen said there were just as many young people struggling with mental health in the western suburbs as there were in any other area.
“Mental health doesn’t discriminate,” she said.
“The work we do is life saving. We help these kids learn resilience and coping skills.
“We do a lot of family work as well. We have a strong belief that family is the centrepiece – it doesn’t matter what the family looks like, so long as there is support and love.
“The demand for our services is always increasing and we rely heavily on the goodwill of the corporate and community sectors.”
Mr Davies said he planned to repeat the Love campaign throughout July, and again later in the year.
“It can only get bigger and better. We want agents across Perth involved – even if agencies can only give $20 per sale,” he said.
Youth Focus founder and chief executive Jenny Allen and Space Real Estate’s Justin Davies.