This year, the Student Representative Council (SRC) decided to raise awareness of the Blue True Project - an organisation that encourages people to speak up and have those difficult conversations when battling mental health concerns.
By painting trees blue, they spread the message that "it’s OK to not be OK" and help break down the stigma that’s still largely attached to mental health. There are now more than 600 blue trees registered in Australia.
Blue Tree Project CEO, Kendall Whyte, visited Perth College last week to chat with the SRC, answering their questions about how to provide friends and family with mental health support and giving them ideas to help raise awareness and funds for Blue Tree Project.
Kendall also spoke about the devastating loss of her brother that inspired her to start Blue Tree Project and the importance of developing the program in schools.
"Obviously the youth are our future and it is so important to the Blue Tree Project that we are reaching our younger generations in that prevention space," she said.
"The biggest thing is kicking that stigma and making this is a topic that isn't taboo. I think if we can make it as normal a conversation for everyone, it's not this scary topic and there's no fear of judgement or outdated prejudice that stops people getting the help that they need.
"We all need help, that's for sure and there's no age limit to that which is why youth is particularly important to us."
The SRC also held a Raising Awareness Day last week with an assembly and year group activities around the School during Kaya to promote the Blue Tree Project. Students made a mural by painting blue handprints on canvases which will be hung around the School to encourage students to speak up if they need to.
2021 Charity Ambassadors, Sophie and Allegra, said Blue Tree Project would represent the Perth College community as our charity focus throughout the year.
"We believe this a very important charity to be representing, as many people all over the world experience difficulties with mental health," they said.
"When you feel as though you are listened to and that there isn’t any shame associated with speaking up, it all helps for the better, which ties in with their motto “It’s okay not to be okay”.
"Stay tuned for more information to address your questions about Blue Tree Project."
For a list of support services, visit the Blue Tree Project website.