Get ya head straight

Bridge Builders executive director Beck Mitchell with Paris, Alex, Zjuane, and Mary. 221351 Picture: ROB CAREW

Lilydale youth support organisation Bridge Builders have launched a new campaign to help kids struggling with mental health challenges and life in a pandemic.

Bridge Builders have created ‘Kapz for Kidz’ aiming at starting a conversation based on mental health, while helping the organisation to deliver on its programs, which were restricted at the height of Victoria’s Covid-19 crisis.

Bridge Builders executive director Beck Mitchell said the Kapz for Kidz initiative allows anyone in Australia to help out youths who are struggling in Victoria.

“The whole idea is to help ‘get ya head straight’. It’s a way to actually help when you hear about all the bad things going on in the world and you feel a bit helpless to do anything about it. But you can buy a cap and all of a sudden, it can change a life.

“The impact of the pandemic has been disproportionate to young people in what they’re going through. They’re seeing family members struggle, their education has been affected as well as their social life and activities.

“They aren’t able to do all those things that help keep them on a good pathway and in a good mental health space. Young people were already going through their own issues, then going through Covid-19 now has been a real challenge.”

Some of Bridge Builders’ programs were restricted by the pandemic and were forced online.

“We’ve tried to change our support service delivery to try and support young people in a time that is really difficult to do so. It has been a challenge and some of our services have been able to continue in an online capacity.”

An annual running event held by Bridge Builders was turned into a virtual running event, while other events such as a business breakfast and girls retreat camp couldn’t go ahead.

“At the end of the day, young people need a space to go when they’re upset or not feeling so well and they need that human interaction. You can’t just cuddle them across the screen. You can’t comfort someone when they’re crying and upset. It’s just not the same on Zoom.

“This year has come with its own set of challenges and we’ve just tried to change, alter or pivot with our programs to support young people in a time where they need support now more than ever.”

For more information about Bridge Builders’ Kapz for Kidz campaign, visit: https://www.bridgebuilders.com.au/kapzforkidz/