The new sculpture at Geelong Memorial Park is a talking point for mental health Geelong Cemeteries Trust has officially opened the Blue Tree.
The opening was held in the grounds of Geelong Memorial Park on Tuesday 10 October 2023 at 2.00pm. The sculptural tree, part of the Blue Tree Project, is a mental health awareness initiative which aims to spark difficult conversations and encourage people to speak up when battling mental health concerns. The opening also marked National Paint a Blue Tree Day and World Mental Health Day.
A number of Councillors and Representatives of Parliament attended in support of recognising the importance of mental health within our region.
Statistically, Greater Geelong has a higher percentage rate of mental health conditions (11.1%) than the statewide and national average (8.8%).
Kim Edgar, a local mother and mental health and suicide prevention advocate spoke at the event, poignantly talking about the significance of the Blue Tree Project. Kim lost her son to suicide in 2018; the same year Jayden Whyte, who inspired the Blue Tree Project, took his own life.
Chair of Geelong Cemeteries Trust, John Mitchell says, “To have a tangible reminder of the significance of having those difficult conversations, seeking help and supporting others with their mental health is very powerful.”
A Blue Tree, which is typically dead before being painted by the community, has in this instance been locally made and installed as an enduring symbol. “This is about bringing people together and caring for our community. The Blue Tree is a beacon of hope.”
Geelong Cemeteries Trust warmly welcomes all within our communities to visit the Blue Tree.