Omar Dean will lend his name, profile and story to help Lifeline reach young people in crisis through an innovative online service designed to target those in need. Lifeline’s Online Crisis Support Chat Service is now available with extended hours, seven days a week.
Since X-Factor, Omar Dean’s career and popularity is soaring, but some people may not be aware he was significantly bullied at school and turned to music to cope.
“I know all too well the impact depression and feelings of despair can have on a person, especially young people. I’ve been through it, I’ve lived it and it can be hard to reach out for help, especially if you feel stressed or confused but it’s so important to seek help,” Omar said.
Recognising social media and online as a mainstream form of communication, Lifeline’s Online Crisis Support Chat Service is for anyone who would prefer to seek help and advice via a real time, one-on-one, online conversation.
“For anyone struggling, you don’t need to feel alone – Lifeline’s crisis support chat service can help you take control,” Omar said.
“We are so pleased someone of Omar Dean’s reputation and character has agreed to lend his name to Lifeline’s Online Crisis Support Chat,” Jane Hayden, Lifeline Australia CEO, said.
“Over the past five years more than 1,500 people under the age of 25 have taken their own lives.”
“Particular groups (including some young people) have told us that their strong preference is to seek help through an online medium. As a Lifeline Ambassador, Omar will reach out to his fans and the community with the message that while feelings of despair can affect anyone, it is so important to seek help.”
Online Crisis Support Chat offers a private one-on-one chat session with one of Lifeline’s Crisis Supporters. The service is available 365 days per year from 8:00pm – 4:00am (AEST) at http://www.lifeline.org.au/crisischat.
To arrange a media opportunity with Omar Dean to discuss Lifeline’s Online Crisis Support Chat service, and his own experience with bullying and depression, please contact:
For further information or comment contact: John Mendel on 0408 407 376
Omar answers a few questions in this special interview!
Omar, how does it feel to be apart of lifeline team?
I feel incredibly honoured to be apart of such a giving organisation. I still can’t believe that I have been given this opportunity. I feel truly blessed at the moment.
What does it mean to you to be apart of this cause?
To be apart of a cause like this has been another dream of mine since going through the experiences I went through in my early teens. I chose to take a career in the music industry not only because I get to express my talent and passion- but because It means I get to advocate change, encourage positivity through music and have an outlook or story that will inspire many. I feel like I have now achieved being just more that an artist but a public figure who stands for something greater. It means so much my family and I that I can now use everything I have to give back to people in need.
Why did you join the Online Support Chat?
I joined the online support chat campaign because I believe in it, I believe everything it stands for and I believe that it is such an appropriate resource for so many people who have been through similar experiences to me.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give to someone who has been bullied?
I would say, hold on. Just like everything else- it’s just a phase. I promise that there is an end to this, there always is. Once you realise the people that bully you, are often weaker than you- they are reacting out of an unsettlement within themselves – you have the power to stay strong, stand your ground and believe in who you are because that will leave you untouchable. Don’t let them get through to you- you acquire so much courage within you- you just need to realise that and use it to get through times like this. The people that go through the most end up being the most beautiful minded beings if you chose to learn from it positively.
How did you overcome your bullying?
I overcome bullying by resulting to music, this is where my love for it came about. I would go home from a bad day at school straight to sitting in my room writing songs, creating a constructive outlet for expression instead of being aggressive against the world. I always told myself “one day I will prove to them” and that I did. I worked so hard and put all my efforts into making myself better and stronger that it became not just a dream but also a habit. I wanted my success to speak for itself. Talking to my family and an expert in this field also helped this process become so much easier.
How did being bullied make you feel?
At first, I couldn’t understand why I was a target. I was always being kind and respectful to everyone but I wasn’t receiving the same. I felt pretty worthless and confused. Then I grew to notice that it was because I lacked confidence in myself so they did too. I felt so down that it took a toll on my health, I just kept building up this tension. In the end it made me better though as hard as it seemed at the time.
After your rise to fame on X Factor, has there been any instanced where you have had hate online?
Of course! The X factor this year was so involved on social media which was good for publicity but also meant we were exposed to much more negativity from ignorant people who sat on their couches judging us harshly. We worked our butts off constantly and had the pressure of performing to millions live and hearing judges feedback after every performance- wasn’t easy- the last thing we wanted is for people who weren’t doing much more than us to be putting us down for following our dreams. I guess once we realised what position we are in compared to them- it made it easier to understand why they would react that way. You just gotta do what you do, their opinions aren’t paying your bills and changing your love for what you do.
What will you do next?
I have so many goals I want to accomplish long term. I feel as though I want to try everything in my lifetime. But for now- My next goal is to release a smashing single then tour/ travel as much as I can. I’m going to try and keep reaching for bigger and better.
Online bullying has been a top hit in the media, how do you suggest young people avoid it
It’s so upsetting how cruel the online world has become, it’s everywhere, especially now that our lives revolve around social media. The easiest suggestion is to simply ignore these posts- and if you can’t do that- delete, report, block them so they can never contact you again- believe me it will make them furious. Don’t give them your time of day or attention- they are just trolls.
Is there anyone special in your life right now?
You know, I kind of wish there was. But it’s so difficult right now- I’m always a away from home doing gigs, and it’s hard to meet genuine girls who know who I really am while I’m on the road. But I’m open to it, I have a friend which I’m really close to, she keeps me sane and I love chilling with her when I’m back in my home town.