Roebourne blue tree a beacon of hope
A blue tree at the visitor information bay in Roebourne now stands as a beacon of hope for those experiencing mental health issues.
The tree, which was painted by a group of nine community members, is located on the North West Coastal Highway where it passes through the small Pilbara town, reminding everyone to ask the question R U OK?
The initiative was driven by Gaynor Smith, who said depression and suicide were worldwide issues that were just as prevalent in Roebourne as anywhere else.
“It’ll spark the question because people will wonder what it’s about and they’ll realise it’s to draw awareness to mental health,” she said.
“It’ll inspire people to check in on their mates and neighbours, listen to people and look out for one another.”
The tree was painted as part of national movement the Blue Tree Project, which was started by the painting of a tree in honour of the late Jayden Whyte as he had once painted a tree blue on his family’s Wheatbelt property as a joke.
Ms Smith said depression could often be more “in your face” in a small town, because when the community lost someone, it had a ripple effect.
“We just want to raise awareness that you’re not alone, it’s OK to not be OK and it’s all right to seek help and speak out,” she said.
The project was a true community effort, with locals doing the work and Home Hardware Karratha donating the paint and rollers for the cause.
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