Youth Live4Life

Youth Live4Life is based in the Macedon Shire, It is a proven community based model for suicide prevention, developed from the ground up, that is in demand as the blueprint for all rural communities in Victoria, if not Australia.  Youth Live4Life Inc. empowers rural Victorian communities to support, improve and invest in young people’s mental health and wellbeing through the implementation of the Live4Life model.  Their vision is that all rural Victorian communities have the capacity to support, improve and invest in their young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Social Venture Partners Melbourne Team – Paula Giles (Lead Partner), Mark Jankleson, Tony Morgan, and Margi Olsen. 

Youth Live4Life Inc.is based in the Macedon Shire. Their vision is that all rural Victorian communities should have the capacity to support, improve and invest in their young people’s mental health and wellbeing. They aim to empower rural Victorian communities to support, improve and invest in young people’s mental health and wellbeing through the implementation of a proven community based model for suicide prevention. This model has been rigorously evaluated , was developed from the ‘ground up’, and is in demand across rural communities in Victoria, if not Australia.

Why did they need our help?

Suicide is the leading cause of death in young Australians. The toll is staggering and the ripple effect from its impact on immediate family, friends and community is devastating and long term. It is estimated that 35% of deaths in the age group 15 to 24 years and 21% of deaths in the age group 25 to 44 years are due to suicide and close to one-in-seven young Australians in any given year experience mental ill-health.[1]Access to services and support is limited and for those living in rural and regional areas, even more so.. Social Venture Partners Melbourne is helping YouthL4L extend their reach into new communities, fund additional capacity and is working with their Board to address strategy, organisation, and governance needs.

How we assisted

During our relationship we established a collaborative partnership with the Board, CEO and members of the team to:

  • Set expectations of how we will work together
  • Reviewed and developed an outcomes based strategy (e.g., Strategic narrative, Strategy on a page)
  • Developed organisation models for growth
  • Drafted Terms of Reference for new board sub-committees (e.g. Finance, Audit & Risk Management; Communication & Marketing; Revenue Sourcing & Fund Raising; Program Design & Delivery)
  • Worked with the CEO to shape a preliminary CEO work plan
  • Provided support to the development of a five-year business plan
  • Assisted with a funding submission
  • Conducted a Board skills self-assessment and skills development plan

The impact

We have worked closely with the Board and CEO to firm up their strategic, organisation and governance foundations to prepare for growth, and to reduce risk as new communities continue to seek to employ the L4L program.

What’s next?

We continue to assess priorities and needs in a collaborative way. Our goal is to assist YL4L achieve their vision and deliver lasting impact and benefit to regional and rural communities.

I have been incredibly fortunate and humbled to see the work that Life4Life do. It is a community led program that enhances the leadership skills of the kids, provides a forum for parents and develops the capacity of the community to look after their young citizens.  I have been enormously impressed by the shared energy and talent of L4L and SVP as we have worked together ‘around the kitchen table’ on this most pressing social issue.” Paula Giles – Lead Partner, Social Venture Partners Melbourne.


[1] Future Generation & EY Australia’s Mental Health Crisis October 2019

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