Old tree goes blue

Old tree goes blue

Jarrahdale Equestrian Centre owner Salli Galvin with her sons Seamus and Colm. Photograph – Richard Polden.

A 14 metre high white gum tree may have met its demise but it is not ready for the chainsaw and wood chipper just yet. 

The tree, which sits proudly at the Jarrahdale Equestrian Centre, will soon be painted a shade of blue in an attempt to shine some light on mental health and wellbeing. 

The Blue Tree Project is a grassroots awareness movement that encourages people to start difficult conversations and open up if they are suffering from depression or anxiety. 

It was inspired by a story told at Jayden Whyte’s funeral, a man who tragically took his own life in November 2018. 

Jarrahdale Equestrian Centre owner Salli Galvin said a friend suggested the dead tree at the centre would be perfect for a Blue Tree Project. 

“I thought nothing of it and carried about my business and then one evening I went on Google and looked up the project,” she said. 

“Oh my God it tore at my heart strings and hit close to home, as I have experienced tragedy in my family with suicide and I wanted to help.” 

The tree, which died of its own accord, has since been seen to by experienced tree specialists to get it ready for the big painting day. 

Mrs Galvin said members of the community are welcome to come along on May 6 to help out with the mammoth painting effort. 

Any extra funds raised will be donated to Youth Focus to support the delivery of free counselling services and education programs that assist young people dealing with depression, anxiety and self-harm. 

The centre is located at 162 Jarrahdale Road, Jarrahdale and painting starts at 8am. 

For more information call 0427 255 291. 

If you, or anyone you know, is suffering from mental health issues, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kid’s Helpline on 1800 55 1800.