SANTA Maria College student Skyla Pengilly put her money where her mouth is in a bid to raise awareness about mental health.
The Year 12 was the only non-corporate person to purchase a dolphin statue as part of The Big Splash earlier this year.
The Big Splash was a vibrant art campaign that raised money for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit at Perth Children’s Hospital.
Purchased as part of an auction of the dolphins, We’re All Made of Stardust, Baby was created by artist Black Betty and Skyla is hoping to leave a legacy when she graduates.
The student even made a speech at the auction event at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre on March 19, in which she spoke about the mental issues facing young people.
Skyla said she saw the dolphins around Perth but was aware of the campaign through her aunt Sharon Warburton, who is on the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation board.
“When I saw it, I thought it was a great initiative to raise awareness about youth mental health,” she said.
“I believe it’s important to have discussions about mental health and so I thought I’d get involved first hand.
“Heading along to the auction, there were dolphins everywhere and lots of company figures but it was really good to be able to deliver a speech.”
Skyla has set up a GoFundMe page to complete her fundraising efforts.“I’m currently just over $1000 in my fundraising, I’ve been contacting schools and trying to get out to leavers as a way for them to leave behind a legacy,” she said.
“The aim is to raise $10,000 over the next few months, I understand the next few months are stressful for everyone as we sit our final exams.
“The dolphin is currently at my place but the idea is whatever school raises the most money, it should go there.”
Skyla’s campaign is timely ahead of R U Okay Day, which takes place on September 13.
“I believe R U Okay day is about discussion, breaking down the stigma of mental health and supporting friends,” she said.
“It’s about supporting on another and not being self-centred
“There are a lot of pressures that are put on ourselves and our emotional and physical well-being can sometimes become our last priority.”
Visit www.gofundme.com/high-school-kids-for-mental-health to donate or for more information.