Helping young women discover ‘your happy’

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By Kate Foreman

With the worst behind her, Girlspo+ Guide creator, founder and managing director Alison Barrett is helping girls and young women feel inspired to “find their happy”.

The Adelaide based business launched in 2014 – since then it has helped more than 250 girls with the Girlspo+ Guide 30 Day Challenge.

“I suffered from mental health issues as a teen, and I found that I had a lot of questions which there was never any answers to,” Ali says.

“I didn’t have the support or resources to help me, and I was always asking why we were never taught mental wellbeing at school.

“So I had a driving passion to help prevent young girls from developing mental health issues through a mental wellbeing strategy.”

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Ali had a solid platform to build from. The ‘twenty-something’ has degrees in Journalism, from the University of South Australia, and Psychology, from Flinders University, as well as a personal training certificate.

“I started a blog while I was studying journalism and I basically had the idea of interviewing girls that had overcome adversity and built resilience,” she says.

“I wanted to create a platform where girls could inspire one another to take control of their lives and sort of share their tools and techniques, on how they had overcome their tough times.”

The Girlspo+ Guide helps girls and young women through what Ali call’s five “core pillars” of mental wellbeing – Happy Me, Think Well, Healthy Habits, Motivation and Take Back Control.

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“Our aim is to help eradicate the mental health statistics and suicide rates in teen girls and young women around the world,” explains Ali.

“One in five young women now have such severe psychological distress that it could be considered a mental health issue.

“The Girlspo+ Guide is a preventative step where girls can have access to a whole range of tools and strategies that adopt psychological principals which helps them cope with everyday life stresses and self-esteem issues.”

After the guide officially launched in November of 2014, Ali and her team have grown an online community of more than 20,000 followers and engage with them daily.

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“We have bigger plans of being able to reach over 100,000 girls and help change and transform their mental wellbeing,” Ali says.

The biggest challenge for Ali, has been trusting in the ability of those around her to see her vision come to life – one which has certainly paid off.

The Girlspo+ Guide is available online and at Adelaide book retailers Dymocks, Dillons Norwood Bookshop and Booked at North Adelaide.

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