Everything went blue

Everything went blue

Jack Fuery, Elliot Osborne, Charmaine Grylls, Archer Fuery, Ally Fuery, and Ben Fuery. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

A tree that looked worse for wear was brought back to life in the Mundijong Community Garden on Saturday, October 9, when it was painted to raise awareness for Mental Health.

Members of the community with a range of skills gathered together on Saturday to paint the tree blue, in an effort to raise awareness around mental health.

Mental health week began on October 9, and this year has a particular focus on mental health in children and suicide.

Event organiser and mental health nurse Marilyn Marsden said about 150 people attended the event across the day, with some heading over from the farmers market.

“It was a pretty good turn-out, with dozens of kids and it was a beautiful day as well,” Ms Marsden said.

“The whole tree is blue now, at one point I walked up to the tree there was about eight people around the tree painting.”

Headspace set up a gazebo next to the tree and had kids painting rocks to place around the tree.

“Mostly the kids just decorated the rocks with pretty colours but other rocks had little messages on them like be kind which was really nice,” Ms Marsden said.

The rocks were a good alternative for the littler kids to paint with smaller paintbrushes as opposed to the large brushes used for the tree.

According to Ms Marsden, there was a surprise for Shauna Oakley who had organised to have her head shaved to raise money for Beyond Blue.

“We ended up having two head shaves so Shauna did her head and then her husband, unbeknownst to Shauna, had spoken to the hairdresser and had his shaved straight after her,” she said.

Ms Oakley raised around $870 through both online donations and cash donations on the day.

“There was a lot of linkages on the day, so one of the school chaplains attending the event could get talking to somebody and would walk them to one of the other organisations that could help,” Ms Marsden said.

“There was a focus on mental health in children so there were a lot of kids around the headspace table painting and would interact with the staff there.

“Occasionally there would be just one child painting the tree and they would just be chatting about what was going on at home and such, and sometimes there was things going.

“There was a lot of different ways the message of mental health got out there throughout the event.”