Back to Impact Stories

Youth Live4Life

  • Project: Live4Life Goes Large: Scaling the successful Live4Life model State-wide, improving youth mental health and reducing suicide
  • Amount: $120,000 (total) over two years
  • Year(s) Funded: 2020

Building organisational capacity to enable sustainable growth

Youth Live4Life’s award winning model specifically targets rural and regional youth mental health and suicide prevention. With increasing requests for its services in communities across Victoria, Youth Live4Life needed to build its organisational capacity so it could scale up effectively and meet demand.

Students from Years 9 and 10 volunteer to become mental health ambassadors in their school and community. Photo: Live4Life Glenelg Crew

“The Live4Life model has the potential to transform the state of rural youth mental health and wellbeing…not only in Victoria, but across Australia.” Mark Jankelson, Chair, Social Venture Partners Melbourne

With one in 4 young people experiencing a mental health issue in the past 12 months; and suicide being the leading cause of death in Australian young people, accounting for 1/3 of deaths, there is a high need for programs which work. This is particularly the case in rural and regional areas where the suicide rate is 40% higher, and in remote areas almost twice that, of the major city rate.

To meet the growing urgent demand for its proven model, the organisation needed to strengthen its capacity via the development of a comprehensive three-year strategic plan and implementation of critical customer relationship management software to manage relationships and core operations.


  • Live4Life focuses on early intervention that is about reducing stigma, raising awareness of warning signs, fostering help-seeking and encouraging peer support.
  • It is empowered and sustained via ongoing community partnerships and participation so that it becomes embedded in the community.
  • Beneficiaries of the Live4Life model include secondary school students and communities across Victoria’s 46 rural and regional shires.
  • The model has strong Federal government interest, and State government endorsement and funding support.
  • A key element to the success of the Live4Life model is its whole-of-community, collaborative approach, powered by the young people who become its champions and schools and community partners who lead the implementation of Live4Life.
  • With proof of concept achieved through an independent evaluation, state-wide roll out of this program aims to meet the ever-escalating community demand.
  • Social Ventures Australia will develop a three-year strategic plan, in consultation with the Youth Live4Life Board and other stakeholder groups, including schools, Councils and supporters.
  • A customised Salesforce Customer Relations Management (CRM) system will be implemented which will enable:
    • enhanced administrative capacity to manage exponential growth
    • ability to manage donor and grantor reporting/stewardship
    • fundraising initiatives
    • direct mail and promotional campaigns
    • increased capacity to monitor and evaluate success via data
  • Youth Live4Life aims for a 100% increase in Victorian communities implementing the model each year, and to achieve state wide coverage by 2023.
  • An urgent Rapid Response grant of $10,000 from HMSTrust, further to the original grant of $110,000, enabled Youth Live4Life to adapt the program and material for digital delivery during COVID-19.