The Big Splash: Trinity College students get involved in Mental Health Week activities

Trinity College school psychologist Amber Newsome, The Big Splash WA Coordinator Deidre Whiston with students Taj McCartney and Jacob Wilkie.
Trinity College school psychologist Amber Newsome, The Big Splash WA Coordinator Deidre Whiston with students Taj McCartney and Jacob Wilkie.

TRINITY College students will stick printouts of their faces to a dolphin sculpture to start conversations about mental health.

Students this week became involved in a statewide campaign between Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation and schools to raise awareness about children’s mental health as part of Mental Health Week.

The Big Splash WA co-ordinator Deidre Whiston addressed the students, revealing two years ago the number of children coming to the hospital after self-harming had gone up 400 per cent.

She said the aim was to get that figure way down.

“Fifty one per cent of teenagers won’t get the help they need at the start of the problem, they think it isn’t cool or that no one is interested in their problems” she said.

Students will spend the rest of the year printing out their school photos and sticking the faces on the dolphin, which will eventually join a pod of large dolphin sculptures painted by local artists, all to raise mass awareness and funds for child and adolescent mental health.

Ms Whiston said it was easier for people to open up about their issues when working on an art project together.

Teachers and parents at each school will receive The Big Splash WA resource kits, which is a starting point to raise mental health awareness with children.

A public art trail will be organised through Perth from January to March 2018 where trail participants will be able to watch or participate in an interactive art demonstration.

Schools will also be able to plan an excursion to follow the art trail of 35 life-sized dolphins using a map and interactive app.

Mental Health Week runs until October 14.

Go to http://www.thebigsplashwa.com.au.