The sweeter way to promote youth mental health
10 April 2021 at 8:00 am
A social enterprise confectionary brand has connected more than 5,000 young people to expert mental health resources and early intervention support
With COVID-19 causing mental distress for many Australians, a Brisbane social enterprise is using the power of chocolate to connect young people with tools to look after their mental health.
YUMM Confectionery delivers free mental wellness tools through its chocolate products, with each wrapper featuring a positive affirmation and a QR code that links to a wide variety of mental health resources.
The idea is to connect young people with expert support – developed in conjunction with health professionals and lived experience advisors – to encourage early intervention for mental health issues.
YUMM Confectionery CEO Andrew Galloway said this kind of support was especially important now amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
“We’re hearing from young people that COVID-19 has really impacted the plans they had for the future. They’re having to adjust to our collective ‘new normal’, and reevaluate their place in it,” Galloway said.
“It’s clear there’s a need for a multifaceted response to mental health and wellness, but often the first challenge is early intervention – simply encouraging young people to ask for help.”
YUMM has connected more than 5,000 young people to expert resources and early intervention support since it was created in 2019.
Galloway said everyone loved chocolate, and having a box visibly displayed at an office, school or community group was a gentle way to keep mental wellness top of mind.
“We’ve created over 130 online resources exploring a diverse range of mental health topics, and our goal is to link a further 10,000 young Australians with this expert content over the next 12 months,” he said.
Mental health advocate Matt Runnalls, the founder of Mindfull Aus, said YUMM chocolate was a great way to stimulate important conversations about mental health.
He said tangible tools like this could really make a difference – whether in a school canteen, a break room, or a café.
“Concepts like YUMM chocolate make mental health feel more engaging and constructive,” Runnalls said.
“It’s just about taking a couple of minutes out of your day to eat a sweet, connect to a resource, read a little about yourself, and hopefully share that learning with your mates.”