Case study

headspace – Suicide Prevention Campaign

headspace approached Cox Inall Ridgeway in November 2019 to support the pre-campaign research, concept testing and advice in the designed and development of the campaign (including undertaking a literature review), we were also contracted to work on the post campaign evaluation.


headspace is encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to take a step to help strengthen their social and emotional wellbeing.

The ‘take a step’ campaign features rocks to represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people’s emotions, experiences or challenges that might weigh them down – feelings like anger, shame, sadness, insecurity and grief. Everyone ‘carries’ a rock, with some larger and more burdensome than others, to show that everyone has their difficulties, no matter who they are or where they’re from. Importantly, the campaign aims to connect these feelings with solutions that can help.

It is helpful to use a metaphor to explain the connection between the feelings young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may have and their social and emotional wellbeing, as it helps explain a non-physical concept in a visual way. Some young people may not have the words to explain their feelings, so the rock metaphor helps to do that visually.


The campaign provided practical tips and ways for young people to look after their social and emotional wellbeing by:

  • speaking to someone they can rely on (family member, community member, school teacher or Elder)
  • taking time to focus on things they like doing – art, music, dancing
  • connecting with culture or Country in a way that works for them
  • visiting the headspace campaign website for more information and supports.

The campaign encouraged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to gradually increase their understanding and awareness of their social and emotional wellbeing. While the practical tips don’t provide an instant solution, raising awareness of social and emotional wellbeing can open a pathway to self-help and healing.

The campaign was launched in August 2021.