Students at Bulahdelah Central School participated in a day of colourful activities last week aimed at raising an awareness of mental health issues.
The day was organised entirely by the Year 12 English Studies class in support of the Black Dog Institute, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by poor mental health.
Statistics from the Black Dog Institute show 45 percent of all Australians will experience a mental illness at some stage during their lifetime.
Concerned with these high rates of illness, students from the class organised their day of colour to shine a light on the issue.
Year 12 student Keahne Hurtado said her class felt mental health awareness did not receive enough attention.
“People tend to sweep it under the rug, but it is a big issue in today’s society,” Keahne told News Of The Area.
“I hope that we have shown that it is alright to openly talk about mental health and also the importance of supporting those affected by the illness.”
Students from Kindergarten to Year 12 created a colourful mural during the day by stamping a wall with the Black Dog Institute logo.
Year 12 student Whitney Thomson said creating the mural involved people working together and interacting in a positive way showing that mental health can be supported through cooperation.
“Depression can take people into dark places so we decided to stamp the wall in bright colours to show the positive effect supporting mental health can have,” Whitney said.
“The stamps on the wall will remind people every time they walk past that it’s all right to talk about the issue.”
Other colourful activities organised during the day included tie dying, face painting and a cake stall.
The Year 12 students raised more $600 which will be donated to the Black Dog Institute.
By Daniel SAHYOUN