ReachOut.com aims to help young people with all kinds of situations, from everyday stuff, though to coping with tough times. By helping people understand what they are going through, showing them that they are not alone in their experience, and explaining the different help options that are available, ReachOut.com directs people to the support that is right for them. This includes finding and accessing professional help, such as counselling, as well as learning about and using ‘self-help’ strategies, like the missions offered in our WorkOut app. Everything we do is developed with input from experts to ensure that ReachOut.com is effective and safe.
We recognise that mental health is more than just the absence of illness and see it is a state of wellbeing in which every person can fully realise their abilities and achieve their full potential to live an awesome, fulfilling life. ReachOut.com therefore also focuses on promoting wellbeing by offering opportunities that build self-confidence, create new social connections, develop new skills, and provide a sense of purpose. These same outcomes also help prevent mental health problems like depression and anxiety from developing in the first place (and, for people who have these conditions already, can help improve quality of life).
Ok, but how do we know ReachOut.com does all of that?
We regularly monitor and evaluate ReachOut.com through a variety of different ways to understand who uses the service and whether it's meeting their needs and making a positive contribution to their mental health and wellbeing. Using a combination of site usage and traffic data tools, market research methods (like telephone surveys, interviews and focus groups), and on-site content analysis and user surveys, we know that:
- More than 1 in 3 young people in Australia know ReachOut.com is there to turn to if they need it
- Over 130,000 people use ReachOut.com every month (that’s over one million people every year, and that’s not even counting all the people we connect with on social media!)
- 76% of ReachOut.com users are people aged between 14-25 yrs old
- Young people who use ReachOut.com come from all over – from tiny remote Australian towns and of course all of the big cities (we also receive a small but significant number of international visits)
- 75% of young people who used ReachOut.com in 2011 reported that it helped them to better understand mental health issues, while nearly half (46%) said it helped them ‘quite a bit’ or ‘a lot’ to ask a professional help.
From time to time we also partner up with independent experts from some of Australia’s leading universities and research institutes to conduct more in depth research and evaluation studies. Some of these studies have been published in scientific journals and presented at national and international conferences.
Feedback from young people who use ReachOut.com...
Below is some of the feedback we’ve received about people’s experience using ReachOut.com during the 2011 National Survey:
“It has helped me out heaps, has kept me busy through really tough times =) So it has kept me safe!”
“I love reading other peoples stories and hearing that there are many people experiencing the same issues as myself. It gives me confidence to continue with my life journey.”
“I think that it is extremely useful and it makes me feel a bit less like i am alone and it is good to know that some people do the same things that i do and sometimes feel the same way as me.”