All hands on deck for Blue Tree

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
Rockingham community Blue Tree day.
Camera IconRockingham community Blue Tree day.

Standing bold near a prominent roundabout in Baldivis, Rockingham’s blue tree has fast become a symbol of hope and acts as a visual reminder about mental health, suicide and its prevention.

The public along with the Baldivis Leos and the Fink family, who lost their son, Cohen, to suicide last year, came together for a painting day on Saturday, September 12 after a nearly year-long fight to bring the Blue Tree Project to Rockingham.

The initiative seeks to raise awareness of mental health, reduce the stigma and encourage people to speak up if they are feeling blue.

The Baldivis Leos and the Fink family pre-painted the tree before the public placed contrasting blue-and-white hand prints on the tree in memory of a loved one or their own mental health struggles.

Several mental health providers and community organisations attended including Anglicare WA’s CYPRESS, Shining Hope WA Inc, The Compassionate Friends, Foundation to Wellness, Ruah Community Services, Rockingham Therapy Dogs, the Baldivis Leos and Baldivis Lions.

Jon Eddy, who spoke on behalf of the Blue Tree Project, said blue trees were a “fantastic symbol of hope” and it was important to “educate our children” about mental health.

“For me, these trees represent hope, but also they represent the people that we have lost to suicide and also the people who are fighting a battle,” he said.

Lifeline: 13 11 14

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