Spreading the life message

FORMER Warwick student Luke McMurtrie is travelling Queensland, telling school kids to get off their computers and experience life.

A director of newly established Less Than Strength – a youth movement designed to reduce suicide among young people – Mr McMurtrie says he wants to get into schools to tell kids how good life can be.

“We have a lot of emails from kids saying their schools don’t have sufficient bullying strategies,” he said.

“We’re just trying to raise awareness about suicide. Australia has one of the highest rates, especially among kids.”

Facebook was one of the problems, Mr McMurtrie explained, because it alienated people.

“People might have 1000 friends on Facebook, but how many of them are real friends?” he said. “We’re telling kids to put down the phone, turn off the laptop and get out there and talk to your friends.

“Facebook is an absolute facade.

“If you speak with someone (face-to-face), they’re more likely to engage.”

Mr McMurtrie wants to establish a peer-to-peer network, where young people can organise to meet up in a social context.

He said he would tell students who were not enjoying school that it was only “one-eighth” of their lives.

“There are always options for those who aren’t coping,” he said.

“It’s very healthy to feel like you’re alone. It’s important though to examine your options, and if you don’t know what they are, see someone.”

He suggested contacting a friend or family member, Headspace, a teacher, or Centrelink for help.



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