Hillarys PS students help promote the Big Splash WA

Hillary Primary School students helped promote the dolphin-themed The Big Splash WA campaign. Picture: Kapture Photography
Hillary Primary School students helped promote the dolphin-themed The Big Splash WA campaign. Picture: Kapture Photography

HILLARYS Primary School students have stepped out to help promote a dolphin-themed mental health campaign.

The Big Splash WA will include an art event next year as part of the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation’s campaign to raise awareness about children’s mental health.

The foundation is working with schools across WA to address the increase in young people presenting to medical professionals with mental health issues.

The campaign will kick off with the launch of The Big Splash WA Schools Program, and schools throughout WA are signing up to receive mental health resource kits for students, teachers and parents.

Students will work through the kits and decorate their school’s dolphin sculpture this year, which will join a pod of large dolphin sculptures painted by local artists in the art trail display of 35 dolphins from January to March.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service clinical services director Caroline Goosens said the initiative would bring the issue of children’s mental health to the surface and highlight the support available.

“An estimated 50 per cent of children are currently not accessing the mental health assistance they need,” Dr Goosen said.

“The Big Splash WA will help to educate and inform as many West Australians as possible of the best points of contact.

“Mental health clinicians from Princess Margaret Hospital have worked together with educational writers to develop a series of fun, The Big Splash WA resource kits.

“The clinicians at PMH have established that early intervention and awareness can significantly help children and parents before a crisis unfolds.”

The foundation’s chief executive Denys Pearce said mental health issues in children and young people tended to be left unspoken, eliciting persisting feelings of shame and stigma in families which led to a lack of advocacy for services and research.

“Early intervention is critical, which is why Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation has partnered with the clinical experts at Princess Margaret Hospital to create The Big Splash WA,” he said.

Visit www.thebigsplashwa.com.au for more.

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