In late 2017, we made an announcement that we're building Be There - a revolutionary digital tool designed to educate people on how to better be there for each other. We’ve been busy. Fuelled by your support, a decent coffee machine, and the voices of Canada’s youth, we’ve hit important milestones.
We reached our crowdfunding goal of $100,000! These funds will be used to help make a game-changing resource, as well as to market and disseminate Be There, ensuring that at least half a million young people in Canada know about, and use, this vital tool.
We sent out the first of several national surveys to Canada’s youth and received 1,300 responses. We wanted to know: “What do you actually need?", "What obstacles do you face when trying to support a loved one?", "What knowledge are you missing that is holding you back?". We have a plethora of insights to work from. Here are a few general takeaways:
- 83% said they’d been in a situation where they supported someone who was struggling with their mental health. But only HALF of those felt prepared to offer support.
- 54% of respondents feared that their uncertainty about how to offer support to a friend would actually make their mental health struggles worse.
- Respondents described poor support as unsolicited advice, not being believed, and no respect for personal space. They described positive support as active listening and asking broad follow-up questions.
We already know that it's time to build Be There. Our survey helped confirm this, while also exposing the knowledge gaps that are holding people back from being there for each other. The need is strong, and the demand is high. We’re ready to move forward.
So what comes next? More surveys. More conversations with Canada’s young people about what they need. Soon we’ll team up with digital experts to build and test concept platforms. With your support, Be There is going to leave its mark on the mental health landscape and ensure we're all better off for it - now and into the future.
We’ll keep you posted along the way. In the meantime, thank you for being there.
Jack.org and the Be There team