Santa Maria’s Blue Tree Blessing
Amy Treasure, Head Boarder and Harriet Comerford Smith, 2020 Head Boarder Elect, have been working together on our very own Blue Tree Project here at the College. The mission of the Blue Tree Project is to help spark difficult conversations and encourage people in rural settings to speak up when battling mental health concerns. A group of very keen boarders spent last Wednesday afternoon painting one of the College trees blue, with the help of Chris Dawson, Property Manager at Santa Maria. The tree can be seen near the Doyle carpark.
“The message associated with the Blue Tree is so important to me living in a boarding community, as often girls can go through distressing times away from their family, which increases their reliance on friends to support them through the challenges,” Amy said.
As explained on the R U OK? organisation’s website, ‘The Blue Tree will hopefully create a space that is comfortable, inviting and open to encourage both staff and students to be asking questions of each other.’
Harriet said, “We hope the location of our blue tree becomes a place to meet, discuss and enrich the lives of those who might be struggling.”
Amy led the boarders with a special prayer during the blessing of the blue tree on Sunday, after the final Year 12 boarders’ Mass.
God of Mercy
We dedicate the Santa Maria College blue tree to compassion and understanding.
May our joys and sorrows be shared here and the memory of each person who has struggled with mental wellbeing be remembered.
We dedicate this tree to the experience of companionship and care for one another
May this tree be a reminder of the importance of our hospitality to each other
To the gentle words in our voices and the laughter in our hearts
We dedicate this blue tree to sharing the challenges of our rural brothers and sisters
Cooperatively and collaboratively may we not be afraid of asking R U OK?
By spreading the blue paint and spreading the message that ‘it’s OK not to be OK’, those from rural communities and our Santa Maria community can help break down the stigma that is still largely attached to mental health issues.
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