Love makes the word go around

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Business - By CE­LESTE GOR­RELL

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.

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