School raises awareness about mental health

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Year 7 students Mia and Ruby getting pictures taken in the photo booth.

Hilliard Christian School (Tasmania) took part in R U OK? Day on September 9 alongside many other Australians around the country.

With a staggering 45 per cent of people in Australia having at some point struggled with mental health, Hilliard students and staff thought this was a brilliant idea to help spread awareness about this often taboo subject.

Students and staff dressed in yellow which is the designated colour for the event. The high school joined together for a barbecue lunch where head of secondary Katy Matteo shared some information with students on signs that someone might be struggling and how to be a good mate to them.

Mrs Matteo also stressed the importance of ensuring students are okay first before trying to help someone else. Each student received a bookmark with contact details of where to go for help. Students played card games and R U OK? bingo, which set the tone to have conversations about mental health together.

Mr Redman and Mrs Matteo at the R U OK? photo booth.

Year 10 coordinator and teacher Zac Redman and students cooked a barbecue lunch and children received special R U OK? day cookies.

“The atmosphere was very relaxed and gave students the option if needed to talk about some of our struggles,” year 8 student Grace Matteo said.

“It was a fantastic event and we hope to continue this at Hilliard each year to create awareness and as a reminder to check in on one another as a conversation could change a life.

“We would like to say a special thank you to the following businesses who supported our special event: Woolworths Moonah, Banjos Bakery Moonah and Ally’s Sweet Treats.

Students enjoying the barbecue lunch.