DJ Tigerlily Is Committed To Addressing Our Suicide Crisis As Lifeline's New Ambassador

"I want to ensure more young people grow up in an environment where they feel safe and supported."

15/07/2016 12:12 PM AEST | Updated 16/07/2016 5:38 AM AEST
DJ Tigerlily will run the NY Marathon later this year to raise awareness around mental health.

Lifeline has announced Sydney musician, Dara Hayes better known as DJ Tigerlily as its national ambassador to help drive its mission of tackling Australia's national suicide emergency.

Hayes, 24, has been outspoken on a number of issues relating to mental health since she launched onto Australia's DJ scene in 2011.

Best known for her mermaid blue hair, Hayes regularly speaks about body image, online bullying and anxiety via her social media platforms.

"Suicide prevention and positive mental health are issues that are very close to my heart," Hayes said in a Lifeline statement.

"Over the past 10 years I've struggled with my own mental health battles -– from beating anorexia as a teen and dealing with severe anxiety attacks to, now, trying to manage an ongoing battle with stress and self-concept."

Suicide in Australia

  • The overall suicide rate in 2014 was 12.0 per 100,000 in Australia. This is the highest rate in 10 years
  • The most recent Australian data (ABS, Causes of Death, 2014) reports deaths due to suicide in 2014 at 2,864, this equates to almost eight deaths by suicide in Australia each day
  • Most deaths by suicide in Australia are males, accounting for about three-quarters. However, during the past decade, there has been an increase in suicide deaths by females
  • The suicide rate amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is more than double the national rate. In 2014, suicide accounted for 5.2% of all Indigenous deaths compared to 1.8% for non-Indigenous people

The announcement comes as the charity launched a fundraising campaign that will see 24-year-old Hayes run the New York Marathon in November.

"In becoming a Lifeline Ambassador, I want to ensure more young people grow up in an environment where they feel safe and supported to speak about their own experiences with suicide, as well as depression, anxiety, isolation, and pain," Hayes said.

In March, Hayes was the subject of a nude photo scandal which was leaked without her permission and digitally altered.

Together with Dara, we hope to take further steps to tackle the national suicide emergency faced in Australia. We can do this through promoting connection, compassion and conversation -– key barriers to suicidal behaviour.

Hayes addressed the incident on social media, labelling it a violation of her privacy and used it as an opportunity to stand against victim blaming.

Lifeline Australia CEO Pete Shmigel said Hayes understands the positive influence she can have on other young Australians.

"Together with Dara, we hope to take further steps to tackle the national suicide emergency faced in Australia. We can do this through promoting connection, compassion and conversation -– key barriers to suicidal behaviour," Shmigel said.

Ahead, we recount DJ Tigerlily's best online moments, from standing up against cyber bullying and sexism to spreading self-love.

On being true to yourself

Today is all about self love and starting off on a bright new journey. I'm not going to lie, life has been tricky lately and things have been tough. Coming off an intense 5 week tour really tested me in every sense... physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. A lot of elements in my life have been getting me down - lack of sleep, stomach problems, work stress, personal pressures, body image, social media bullshit, and time, or lack thereof. Although my life on instagram may seem glitzy and glamorous, it's almost always not the case. I want to be real. I want to be honest. I want to be open. For me, my instagram is a platform which I use to connect with all of you beautiful people and to let you into my world. Therefore, it's really important that I am honest with how I'm feeling at a specific time. Reaching out for help when you're going through a tough time, or when you're not OK is very important, almost admirable. It's ok to feel down, to feel anxious, to feel stressed, to feel pressure to look good, and be the best of the best. But more importantly, you must know when to reach out to others and ask for help. Since I got home I've had multiple doctors appointments, cried to my parents several times, and indulged in long conversations with my beautiful friends about how I'm finding things a bit tough at the moment. Although I'm still feeling a little cruddy, I know things will change. Simple choices like talking to people, getting back into a healthy routine of sleep, sunshine, water and exercise, and giving myself heaps of self love makes the absolute world of a difference. I encourage all of you to ask someone today how they are feeling. I also encourage all of you to tell yourselves that you are beautiful inside and out. And, if you're one of the beautiful humans that aren't feeling ontop of the world... go for a run, take a swim at the beach, or get out in the sunshine, but most importantly, don't be afraid to talk to someone and ask for help. A simple conversation and hug can often make the world of difference and get you back up on your feet again. Everything is going to be just fine! Love & Peace & Good Vibes... Tiger xxx

A photo posted by Tigerlily (@djtigerlily) on

On female empowerment

On embracing your individuality

On body image

As you may or may not know, in the past 24 hours there has been some content of me spread online. I am a young confident woman and I share many aspects of my life and who I am on social media. When I share content I make a conscious decision to do so. The content that has been ripped from Snapchat, edited and distributed is being done so against my will. As Jennifer Lawrence said 'It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. It is a sexual violation. It's disgusting.' How would you feel if this was happening to your best friend, your sister, or your girlfriend? It wouldn't be such a laugh then I'm sure? I've spoken out many times against misogyny, sexism and online bullying, and in the past 24 hours I've seen just how vulgar and childish some people can be. Although the crime that has been committed is NOT OK, being proud of your body and who you are IS OK. Girls - Do not ever be ashamed of your body. Do not ever let anyone else ever treat you with anything but absolute respect. You and your body are completely perfect just the way you are and you all deserve to know that and be told that each and every day. The voices of love and support both private and public have been truly inspiring. I've read so many of your messages and I feel empowered by the strength and positivity of the beautiful people I have in my life. To my friends, fans and those choosing not to partake in the invasion of my privacy, I thank you. Events like this only make me more determined to keep on path. To keep playing and writing music, exploring the world, and being so honestly myself each and every day. Love yourself and love one another. Peace, Love & Light to you all. Dara x

A photo posted by Tigerlily (@djtigerlily) on

If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 131114. For further information about depression, contact beyondblue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.
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