Arc Infrastructure has supported an important community project in Narembeen to raise awareness of mental health issues in the region.
Initiated by the Shire of Narembeen, approximately eighty volunteers gathered together to apply blue paint to a dead tree three kilometres from Narembeen township.
Fred Steer, Arc Infrastructure’s Regional Lead, Southern jumped at the chance to support the initiative, as part of Arc’s commitment to investing in the long-term health of both its employees and the communities in which it operates.
“Awareness, prevention and early intervention are extremely important to reduce stigma and promote positive mental health,” said Fred.
“With less support services and a common feeling of isolation, people living in regional areas are at more risk of mental health conditions compared to those in metropolitan areas,” he said.
The Blue Tree Project’s aim is to keep the conversation about mental health active, in partnership with Australia’s leading mental health organisations which emphasise the importance of talking – the cornerstone of their joint #YouCanTalk campaign.
“Arc Infrastructure is proud to support the Blue Tree Project and congratulate the Shire for the proactive initiative. We hope that it will keep individuals and communities talking, seeking resources and becoming more educated on mental health issues – and ultimately, save lives,” said Fred.
Chief Executive Officer for the Shire of Narembeen, Chris Jackson thanked Arc Infrastructure for their support of the initiative which the Shire spearheaded.
“The Shire of Narembeen believes that more needs to be done to support people with mental health issues and together with the Blue Tree project the Shire is working on a Community Wellbeing Plan. The Blue Tree Project is an immediate and visual sign to help raise awareness” Chris said.
“We thank all our supporters including Arc Infrastructure for their help in the lead up to the event, and on the ground on Friday.”
After the painting, volunteers were invited back to Narembeen Shire Council Chambers for a sausage sizzle to commemorate the occasion.
About the Blue Tree Project
The Blue Tree Project started in Mukinbudin with the painting of a dead tree as a mark of respect to Jayden White, a local resident who sadly took his own life.
As a youngster Jayden had once painted a tree on his parents’ farm blue to surprise his father Grant. This story was told at Jayden’s funeral, prompting a couple of his mates to follow suit in his honour.
The idea began to catch on, and now the Blue Tree Project has seen people across the country paint numerous dead trees blue, to raise awareness of suicide prevention by providing visual reminders for us all to check on our loved ones.
Currently more than double the amount of people killed in motor vehicle accidents annually die by suicide in Australia each year.
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