Painting a tree ‘blue’ to raise awareness for mental health

ALL across Australia, Blue Trees have been sprouting up and bringing about conversion about mental health – and now Cumberland City will have its own.

The Blue Tree Project, which sees dead trees painted blue to help spark difficult conversations and encourage people to speak up when battling mental health concerns, is coming to Cumberland.
A request by Councillor Paul Garrard to support the project with a $500 donation and by identifying a suitable (dead) tree within the council’s Woodville and Auburn Golf Courses to paint blue, was unanimously supported by his fellow councillors.
He said the message from the project organisers was that “by spreading the paint and spreading the message that ‘it’s ok to not be ok’, we can help break down the stigma that’s still largely attached to mental health”.
“It is another way to raise awareness and speak about mental health,” he said.
“We need to get people talking about it.
“We all have many stories about people who suffer clinical depression, anxiety depression, bipolar … they are common matters throughout our community.
“I hope it raises awareness and helps educate the public and spread the message that it’s ‘ok not be ok’.”
Cr Greg Cummings said it was a great initiative.
He said there had been more than 1,000 defence personnel suicides in the last 20 years and he supported any measure that could help prevent personal harm.