In recognition of Mental Health Week from 6 to 12 October, the City of Perth is working with the Blue Tree Project to raise awareness of mental health.
The Blue Tree Project – which began in Mukinbudin in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt – encourages people to talk about mental health and speak up if they are suffering from depression or anxiety.
The grass roots movement encourages people to paint a dead tree that needs a “blue lease on life” in memory of a friend who lost their life to depression.
It was inspired by a story told at young Jayden Whyte’s funeral after he tragically took his own life in November 2018. The story was shared by his friend Tjarda Tiedeken, who joined him in painting the now well-known blue tree in Mukinbudin in 2014.
Giving the project its own twist, the City of Perth will be covering 34 trees on St Georges Terrace with blue muslin wrap from Monday 7 October.
In doing so, the City aims to bring awareness to suicide prevention, encouraging people to talk about mental health in the city and beyond.
Chair Commissioner Andrew Hammond said he hoped the blue trees along St Georges Terrace would get people talking and checking in on their mates.
“We hope the initiative will help spread the important message that ‘it’s ok to not be ok’ and raise community awareness around mental wellbeing,” he said.
“The aspiration is to spark the community’s curiosity, encouraging workers, visitors and residents to check in on their friends and family and build community connection and resilience.”
The Blue Tree Project allows communities, families and the City of Perth to come together for this important cause.
In 2017-18, 4.8 million Australians (20.1 per cent) reported having a mental or behavioural condition.*
In recognition of Mental Health Week, the City of Perth will also light up Trafalgar Bridge in blue on 8, 9, 11 and 12 October.