Mental Health Month is the perfect time to help others and be there for your mates, according to a small group of inspiring Orange High School students.
Year 8-10 students Alex Matthews, Cody Logan, Noah Lamrock, Nick Robbins, Cain Selwood and Mitchell Cooper today helped TAFE Western launch their Mental Health Month activities, which are aimed at raising awareness about how mental health can affect the region’s young people.
All high schools in Orange, as well as several community organisations such as the PCYC, Orange Health Service and headspace, will display decorated giant wood cut-out elephants throughout October – the message being to talk about the elephant in the room – mental health.
After posing for photos with the college’s funky, fluorescent elephant, the six Orange High School students touched on what Mental Health Month meant to them.
“Mental health is such a big issue in our society and it’s really important we focus on helping people who need help,” Noah said.
“It’s really important that we’re there for our mates and support them no matter what,” Nick added.
While for Cain, he said “You can’t always see when people are struggling, so it’s really important we check everyone is okay and not always expect that they are good.”
Orange High School places huge importance on raising awareness about mental health activities with its students according to Relieving Deputy Principal Narelle Small, making them one of many perfect partners for this popular Mental Health Month initiative in Orange.
“It was really heartening to hear these young, inspiring students speak so openly and honestly about mental health and wanting to help others,” TAFE Western Counsellor and Psychologist Rachael Buckerfield said.
“That’s precisely what we’re trying to achieve with our Mental Health Month elephant activity – letting young people know that it’s ok to be down and seek help, because statistics say that one in four young Australian people will experience some form of mental illness each year.
“It’s obvious that these students learnt a lot from their R U OK Day event on September 8 and Orange High School, and all high schools in Orange, should be commended for their ongoing support of this incredibly important cause.”
Ms Buckerfield said as well as the elephants, TAFE Western, with support from Mentally Healthy Orange, will host a community barbecue on October 19 to recognise this important occasion. The event will be at TAFE’s March Street College from 11:30am – 1:30pm and all school and TAFE students, staff and community members are invited and encouraged to attend.
For more information about Mental Health Month in Orange, find Orange Youth Mental Health Month on Facebook or phone Ms Buckerfield on 6391 5696 or email email@example.com
** Pictured promoting Mental Health Month (L-R rear) Cain Selwood, Narelle Small, Rachael Buckerfield; (Front) Mitchell Cooper, Nick Robbins.