Australia’s youth mental health foundation, headspace, has launched a new LGBTI campaign to help young people who are feeling the pressure to hide their sexuality.

The concept, ‘Charlie versus the Big Secret’, depicts the internal conflict that a LGBTI young person might experience due to the fear of rejection and judgement.

Headspace CEO Chris Tanti said that many LGBTI young people are concerned about the way people around them might react to their decision to ‘come out’.

“We want young people to feel comfortable to be who they are. But the sad reality is that discrimination and homophobia are a big problem in our society and create issues for young people who are figuring out their sexuality,” Tanti said.

“The pressure to fit in and be accepted often means holding onto a big secret and this may lead to mental health problems like anxiety and stress.

“We want young people to know that if they’re having issues with friends, family, work or school because of homophobia or transphobia, they don’t have to go through it alone.”

“Tanti said it was also vital that the concept was developed in consultation with LGBTI young people across Australia.

“To get this campaign right we developed online surveys asking LGBTI young people about the issues they face and tested what concepts would resonate best with the audience,” he said.

Charlie versus the Big Secret is the ninth concept to be developed as part of the headspace national awareness campaign that aims to help young people get support for issues affecting them.

The vintage fight poster imagery of the campaign depicts battles that young people can win with headspace in their corner.

The other ads focus on issues such as depression, relationship break-ups, anxiety, exam stress, bullying and drug use.

The campaign will be featured on posters and postcards that will be used by the 40 headspace centres across Australia.

It will also be seen in selected print and online media as well as advertising in universities and pubs across the country.

INFO: headspace.org.au

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