#VamosTogether: youth suicide can be prevented

From August 3 to September 4the Millennium Nucleus to Improve the Mental Health of Adolescents and Young People (Imhay), the Institute of Communication and Image of the University of Chile (ICEI) and the All Improvement Foundation will run the campaign #Let’s go togetherdestined to promote the search for professional help in young people between 15 and 29 years of age who are at risk of suicide, which is the second cause of death in this population in Chile.

Developed in an interdisciplinary manner, this initiative It will provide tools for both young people who are at risk of suicide, as well as for those around them. Through a series of video capsules and graphics that will be disseminated on the social networks of the participating organizations -mainly on the accounts of Instagram @nm.imhay, @icei_uchile and @todomejora-, information about warning signs, how to accompany someone in a crisis situation and how to access professional help, among other resources.

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Dr. Vania Martínez, a Cemera academic from the Faculty of Medicine and director of the Imhay Millennium Nucleus, indicates:

“With #VamosJuntxs we want to promote the idea that preventing suicide is everyone’s job and give young people the information they need to help their close network. Especially taking into account the current context, in which prolonged confinement due to the pandemic has exacerbated the risk conditions. The campaign seeks to provide necessary tools to start a conversation about it and that they can learn to recognize the main warning signs”.

Help and prevent suicide from the digital

Lionel Brosiacademician of the ICEI of the University of Chile and associate researcher Imhay Millennium Nucleushighlights the importance of the campaign be fully digital:

“Social networks enable channels to seek help, which could help more people obtain social support, from their contacts or friends, who otherwise would not have it, especially in this time of mandatory confinement. The fact that youth are permanently connected is enough to recognize their relevance and the enormous potential they have as tools to prevent potential damage to their well-being and mental health”.

For its part, Rocio Faundezsocial director of the All Improvement Foundationemphasizes the relevance of promoting a space to talk openly about suicide:

“What we want with this campaign it is to open the conversation so that suicide ceases to be a taboo. It is necessary to join efforts in prevention in a way that makes sense to young peopleY social networks are a main engine to favor the search for help among peers”.

Influencer Support

The campaign will be carried out mainly through Instagram -one of the social networks most used by young people- and will have the support of the instagrammer isabella caves and the singer Dani Ride, recognized influencers of the national scene, who have openly worked for self-acceptance and mental health care among young people.

“Social networks have become a fundamental part of our lives and of the development of our social relations, especially now with quarantine and physical distancing. In them we express our points of view, we share the things we like and we can also express our pain. It can be a campaign that makes a difference, because it goes to the world where young people move today and puts these tools at their fingertips”, comments Dani Ride.

Adding to these words, Isabella Cuevas points out that making mental health visible is just as important as doing it with other health problems:

“There are people who have really had a hard time and who need to be heard. This campaign touched me personally, because I went through a situation like this and I am glad that these spaces exist today. I wish I had come across something like this when I was younger.”
“With the #VamosJuntxs campaign we want those people who are thinking about suicide not to feel alone and to be able to seek professional help. Today more than ever it is useful that we have this knowledge, because in crisis situations such as the pandemic, which has increased everyone’s anxiety levels, it has also forced in many cases the interruption of mental health therapies, «says the instagrammer.