StartOut Ambassador to raise $30,000 in 30 days

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StartOut Ambassador to raise $30,000 in 30 days

New youth mental health initiative aims to help DSG people in regional Australia

Newtown resident and local electrician, David Jones is on a mission to raise $30,000 in 30 days to support StartOut Australia, a registered health promotion charity that aims to build the confidence and resilience of young people of diverse sexuality and gender in regional Australia and reduce the entirely preventable burden of poor mental health in this community.

Jones was inspired by the 22 push-up movement to raise awareness of PTSD and suicide in the Australian military. He embarked upon a movement of his own and has so far raised over $20,000 by performing 30 push-ups on demand from people who have pledged donations to StartOut Australia and posting videos of these requests on social media. Jones is looking for help from the community to raise the remaining funds to ensure the essential infrastructure for this new youth mental health initiative is completed as scheduled.

Jones says, "After the first few days, people started offering extra donations for me to do crazier things. I've now got green hair, have worn a tutu and done push-ups on the Harbour Bridge. It's all for a good cause and if you are willing to donate a good amount of money, there are no limits!”

StartOut are developing online mentoring programs that will provide access to role models for young DSG people with a particular focus on those in regional Australia. With a view to launching their new online mentoring program in March 2017, StartOut are currently raising the funds to finish building their platform. 

StartOut Director, Adam Dent says, “In a month marked by plebiscites and the tragic suicide of 13-year-old Queenslander, Tyrone Unsworth, love continues to prevail over hate and a man whose hair is now green can show us how.

"Growing up 'different' is still a very isolating experience, especially in regional areas where support isn't as readily available. So much progress has been made by LGBTI+ organisations and mainstream mental health organisations over the last decade but young people are still struggling. We know that quality role models can make a huge difference in reducing isolation so we're putting them in the palm of young people's hands."

Expressions of interest for mentors and mentor training will commence in January. Jones will be in the first cohort of mentors trained in January and has been working out for StartOut.

You can still donate to his campaign at http://startout.org.au/dj and find more information about StartOut Australia at startout.org.au.  All donations over $2 are fully tax deductible.

ENDS.

Media Enquiries:  Adam Dent 0488 027 087

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StartOut Australia
Helping young people of diverse sexualities and genders reach their potential while reducing the entirely preventable burden of poor mental health.