Local primary schools in the Weddin Shire Council area will have something positive and familiar when they attend high school thanks to a community project.
After the unveiling of the RU OK? benches at The Henry Lawson High School on September 13, the students who worked on the project along with Suicide Prevention Project project officer Chad White have presented a matching bench to six local primary schools in the region.
The program is being run in conjunction with the Western Plains Development fund and funded by Western NSW Primary Health Network and run by Mr White and Henry Lawson High School woodwork teacher Mr Amey along with a donation from Weddin Shire Council.
"Not having much support services out in small rural towns for youth I thought what is it that the Suicide Prevention Project, community, schools and our Council can do to help our youth," Mr White said.
"What skills could we teach them and how could we raise awareness around mental health issues? This is where the bench comes in to play."
According to Mr White the idea came to him to help create a space that's comfortable, inviting, friendly and is an excellent way to get students, friends and colleagues asking the question every day of the year - RU OK?
Mr White, Mr Amey and students in Years 9 and 10 at The Henry Lawson High School worked together to initiate the program with two students from the program travelling to each of the schools in the Council area to present schools with a bench and explain the ideas around them.
"It is great for the students at the smaller schools as it will give them something familiar when they do attend the high school," Mr White said.