Article on Stirling Times 2 July 2021
Churchlands SHS students paint tree blue for mental health awareness
Nadia Budihardjo | Stirling Times July 2, 2021 3:54PM
Churchlands Senior High School is the latest addition to the growing list of places with trees painted blue in support of mental health.
The Blue Tree project is a national initiative encouraging people to speak up while reducing the stigma associated with mental health.
Churchlands SHS students grabbed a paintbrush to make their mark on a tree at the oval last week.
Head girl Jess Hazeldine, 17, said painting the tree blue represented a permanent commitment to tackling mental health issues.
“It’s symbolic in that way that it’s us students – we’re doing something about it,” she said.
“It means a lot because it shows we’re taking an active part in the issue of mental health in youth.
“By taking part in painting the tree blue, it’s just showing that we’re so receptive of what mental health is and it’s an issue that we’re trying to combat as a school.”
Acting Junior School association principal Lisa Campbell said the community did not need to come into the school to see the tree.
“It’s more than just one day of awareness, it’s there all the time,” she said.
“Where the tree is positioned so the community can see it openly as they go past the school really makes that connection stronger as well.”
School board elected parent member Genevieve McSporran said Churchlands SHS would be registered on the Blue Tree website, along other locations in the country.
“It’s kind of joining with the broader communities within WA that we are all united in this issue,” she said.
Churchlands SHS also held bake stalls, with proceeds towards women empowerment organisation Zonta.