A ‘Blue Lease on Life’: Kendall Whyte - Blue Tree Project
In 2018 Jayden Whyte took his life, despite presenting himself to hospital 2 times. “If we do anything, we want to ensure no family goes through the horror we went through and if someone needs help, they get it.”
The Blue Tree started organically after a story was shared at Jayden Whyte’s funeral. Jayden painted a tree blue on his family farm, in Mukinbudin WA, after sneaking out one night. This tree was painted in 2014 with a special friend out of love, mischief and friendship.
The blue tree once painted as a practical joke now holds a whole new meaning and has now flourished into a not-for-profit making an impact across Australia.
It acts as a beacon of hope for those struggling. These visual reminders help us all check-in with our mates, our family and check in on ourselves and ask – are we really okay?
Our mission is to help spark difficult conversations and encourage people to speak up when battling with mental health concerns. By spreading the paint and spreading the message that ‘it’s ok to have a blue day’, they are helping break down the stigma that is still largely attached to mental health.
Recent times have been challenging and it’s now more important than ever to check in with your loved ones, mates that might be going through a rough time or even yourself. The added stresses of COVID-19 pose a challenge moving forward and the greatest concern now is that the ‘next wave’ will in fact be a mental health crisis.
If you are finding yourself a little bogged down try:
- Speaking with family and friends
- Reaching out to someone who has had the same struggles in the past
- Calling on support services such as Mensline, Lifeline, Relationships Australia Visit our support page for all forums, textlines and call numbers: https://www.bluetreeproject.com.au/get-support
With over 600 trees painted across Australia and many trees popping up internationally, it highlights the need for such a project during tough times. Blue Tree Project want to make going to the doctor or counsellor for our mental health the same as going for our physical health. There should be no fear of judgment or outdated prejudice that stops someone asking for a helping hand during difficult times.
The next chapter for Blue Tree Project involves developing an education program that can help kick the stigma from a young age and help grow mentally healthy future generations.
To find out how you can get involved, whether it be championing their merch or painting a tree please visit www.bluetreeproject.com.au to find out more.