Blue trees in the burbs

Article image - Blue trees in the burbs Crafternoons attendees have been busy making decorations for the blue tree at AH Bracks Library.

In the lead up to Mental Health Week 10-17 October, City of Melville, Western Australia, is encouraging the community to get involved in the Blue Trees in the Burbs initiative in support of The Blue Tree Project.

Community members are encouraged to create their own version of a blue tree – whether a painted stick in a pot, a craft project or artwork – and share a photo of it on Council’s website and go into the draw to win one of five mini golf group passes donated by Goanna Golf at Point Walter Golf Course.

City of Melville Mayor, the Hon. George Gear JP said the recent challenges and uncertainty of COVID-19 had brought mental health sharply into focus.

“With the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting that one in five Australians aged 16 to 85 experience a mental illness each year, and almost half of Australians experience a mental illness in their lifetime, we know that supporting our community to be mentally healthy is a key priority.

“Mental Health Week encourages all of us to think about our mental health and wellbeing and check in with those around us.” 

In April 2020, the City painted a tree blue on Honour Avenue, Point Walter, in support of the Blue Tree Project, which aimed to raise awareness of mental health issues and spread the message of hope by having people paint a tree in need of a new lease on life.

Blue Tree Project Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kendall Whyte, said, “The blue trees are a visual reminder to check in with a loved one, a friend that’s having a rough time, or a mate having a blue day.

“By spreading the paint and spreading the message that it’s okay to not be okay, we can help break down the stigma that’s still largely attached to mental health, inform people that we all have blue days but there will always be someone who you can talk to, and someone who will listen.”