ABOUT Open Up

Open Up is for casual and honest conversations about the real shit that goes on in all of our lives. It's an opportunity for young people to share with other young people: to learn, be heard, be understood and support each other. 

Let's be real, we ALL experience challenges: expectations, family, social media, identity, alienation, work pressures, addiction, school, anxiety, masculinity, body-image, depression, friends, control, relationships, life lessons... the list goes on. We often deal with this stuff in isolation, but why? It's called stigma, and we're here to break it - by talking honestly, openly and often. We're normalising stuff that was once hard to talk about, by talking about it!

Ever had a deep and meaningful conversation with a friend? It feels good, doesn’t it! We’re all about D&M’s at Open Up.
 Image: @ketnipz

Image: @ketnipz

Joining is easy and free: Just rock up. No bookings. No signing up. No payments. You don’t even have to commit to coming regularly, just turn up when you feel like it. 

Open Up is for young people aged 16-30.

You won’t be asked any uncomfortable questions, and you don't have to share anything personal, in fact it’s totally okay if you don’t speak at all! Some of the best feedback we've had came from people who just came down to listen.

Open Up sessions are led by a One Eighty facilitator and run for an hour and a half.

Each session we pull some topic ideas/conversation starters out of a bowl... so let us know if you have anything you'd like to include, or simply tell us what you're seeking from the session by filling out this form

Learn more: Ground Rules; Locations;  FAQs; Testimonials;  Hosting or Facilitating a session

 Image: Taz Witkamp

Image: Taz Witkamp


WHY OPEN UP?

One Eighty's primary function is to promote the prevention of youth suicide. While we're fulfilling this role in a number of ways - one of our proudest contributions to this vision is our Open Up program. We're not just talking about breaking the stigma around mental health - we ARE breaking the stigma. Every. Single. Week. In each session, young people are given the opportunity to connect with other young people who may be living through similar experiences. Alternatively, they may be given the opportunity to connect with people who have completely different life experiences. Either experience is valid, and creates a learning opportunity for all involved. Research has shown that peer support systems of preventative care for mental illness are beneficial in the recovery and prevention of a range of mental health disorders. Open Up sessions foster this philosophy, offering a peer support network that connects young people directly outwards to One Eighty's larger network of mental health professionals and instills in participants a sense of belonging, inclusion, and safety. While the sessions themselves are structured to be casual and non-intimidating for first-timers, participants are given constructive and actionable information as to where to seek additional support or help after the sessions.

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It is important to remember that Open Up is a community support group, and not a professional mental health care service. If you need extra support, or have further questions about your own mental health, please do not hesitate to reach out to a trained professional at anytime (24/7) at Lifeline on 13 11 14. In cases of emergency, always call 000.