Agriculture and Food Minister Jackie Jarvis with Blue Tree project founder Kendall Whyte.

Blue Tree project regional tour targets mental health

The charity received $250,000 as part of the state government’s funding package of support for drought-affected farming families.
June 27, 2024

THE Blue Tree project recently embarked on a regional mental health tour across Western Australia to provide mental health support to rural communities and their families.

The tour commenced on June 19, 2024 and will finish on July 11, 2024.

The charity received $250,000 as part of the state government’s $8.6 million funding package of support for drought-affected farming families.

It is using the donation to visit 16 WA regional locations and connect with thousands of people across the state, from Esperance in the south to Moora and Mingenew in the state’s mid-west.

Agriculture and Food minister Jackie Jarvis said the charity would host a range of activities including blue tree paintings, discussion panels with empowering speakers, sporting events and quiz nights.

“Our government knows that farmers and regional communities across Western Australia have been doing it tough because of the challenging season and future uncertainty of markets,” said Ms Jarvis.

“We must all work together to break down barriers and encourage people to reach out for support.

“This regional tour will help our rural towns feel more connected through fun events and empowering speakers, but importantly facilitate a better understanding of mental health and the services available.”

Blue Tree project founder and chief executive officer Kendall Whyte said: “It’s okay not to be okay.

“Our origins are country-based, and therefore we know as well as anyone how tough it can be for regional townships, especially farming communities, during times of pressure.

“This tour and the mental health training that follows will allow us to provide a layer of support that otherwise wouldn’t exist.”

Ms Whyte will also talk about her own experience and the tragic loss of her brother Jayden in 2018.

She said the blue tree once painted by Jayden as a practical joke at their home in Mukinbudin now acts as a beacon of hope for those struggling, with more than 700 trees painted across Australia and the world.

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