SpeakOut

Infobox Website|
name = SpeakOut! (Be Heard)
url = http://www.speakout.biz/


commercial = No
type = Support
registration = None
owner = Gavin Golden ("Gav") & Courtenay Cameron ("Courtenay")
author = Gavin Golden / Jelsoft

SpeakOut is a web site where people with issues such as depression and low self-esteem can speak in the comfort of anonymity with people sharing similar problems, as well as trained psychological and psychiatrical professionals. It also works to bring people sharing similar issues and/or a desire to assist, together in an effort to create a welcoming, dependable community. The main sections of the site are the forum, the "one2one" help, and original guides. Its has also expanded its sections to facilitate a more open, inviting, and community feel; games, art galleries, poetry corners, and journals are among the sections opened for members to participate in.

Ethos

While classified as a help and advice centre, SpeakOut's main message is that the client must take the initial step and open up to its Official Helpers. Focus is also placed on the client's interaction with other clients - in effect, creating a flexible support group of like-minded people with similar experiences.

Non-profit Status

SpeakOut is currently pursuing recognition as a non-profit community organization. It is also hoped to build bonds with other non-profit and state-sponsored bodies in America, Europe and Australia. Partnerships include:

[http://www.careforlife.org.au Care for Life] , a Brisbane based charity made up of representatives from government and non government community organisations and community members which provides resources for young people, and information to organisations and community members.

Youth Action Network and [http://www.thestreamonline.org.uk Stream] , United Kingdom based organisations which run in similar fashion to Care for Life. YAN were instrumental in the prepartion of the UK's [http://www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/strategy/guidance/ Children Act 2004] - "Every Child Matters" whilst also providing one-to-one "eMentoring" for participating members.

peakOut Events

In 2006, SpeakOut sponsored a number of events organized to raise awareness of youth issues such as depression, mental illness and child abuse. These included concerts and craft/cookery participation events.

In March 2007 SpeakOut administrator Katie Mann will be organising a SpeakOut sponsored skydive in London, in aid of various youth charities including [http://www.youthactionnetwork.org.uk Youth Action Network] .

Recognition

In 2006, SpeakOut administrator Chris Johnson was recognised by British Prime Minister Tony Blair for exceptional work in the voluntary sector. Johnson met the minister and other guests at 10 Downing Street, Whitehall, London on December 12, 2006. [http://www.speakout.biz/forum/showthread.php?t=3263&highlight=blair] "CJ" works with many voluntary services, from his base in the North East of England.

Also in 2006, Speakout administrator Courtenay Cameron received a Gold Coast Youth Achievement award for her contribution to SpeakOut and National Youth Week in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Courtenay has contributed by organising events and concerts sponsored by SpeakOut, raising awareness of the issues faced by young people today and creating websites for Non Profit Organisations. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
]

SpeakOut's current redevelopment is being certified as XHTML1.1 'Strict' compliant by W3, providing the best possible accessibility for disabled or disadvantaged clients. [http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=referer]

Client Feedback

SpeakOut prides itself in the feedback received about it close relationships with clients. They are displayed on the initial page of the website.

brokenangel: [http://www.speakout.biz/forum/showthread.php?p=62594#post62594]

"Everything just started to get better ... I could deal with everything better. I haven't self harmed since December 6th 2005. I haven't felt unworthy or disgusting or anything like that for about a year and I'm showing no signs of going back. I'm getting stronger everyday. The reason for me saying all of this is because I don't think I would've been able to do it without the support I got from everybody here."

Criticisms

Though whilst pursuing professional standards, as a (currently) amateur organisation, some members have criticised various aspects of SpeakOut. The website is in continual development as it grows and matures, a fact which can lead to bugs and occasional glitches. In essence SpeakOut is running in beta.

References

External links

* [http://www.speakout.biz SpeakOut]
* [http://www.youthactionnetwork.org.uk Youth Action Network]
* [http://www.careforlife.org.au/ Care for Life]


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