A team of six senior students from Catherine McAuley Westmead High School are launching a new mental health awareness program called ‘Plant the Seed’. With a special focus on the CALD (Culturally And Linguistically Diverse) community of Western Sydney, the seven-week social media campaign engages Facebook and Instagram to educate young people about the importance of caring for mental health, by promoting access to appropriate online resources.
Each week the campaign will explore a different tip and how it relates to their followers. “Each topic will be explained in depth, small ways to integrate it into everyday life will be presented and on Sunday each week, there will be a reflection and prizes on offer! Seven lucky participants will be gifted these prizes, each relating to one of the tips, to treat themselves and continue their mental growth beyond the social media campaign,” says Victoria Carr, one of the students involved in the project and speaking on behalf of the Plant the Seed Team.
The students created the winning entry in the 2020 Western Sydney University Youth Leadership Masterclass that posed the question “How can we make mental health conversations more accessible?” Recognising people’s hesitancy to start conversations regarding mental wellbeing, the team came up with the ‘Plant the Seed’ idea, as it reinforces that “nourishing one’s mental health is a process of gradual growth and development every person should participate in’” explained Victoria.
Supported by Dr Nicole Bridges, an expert in social media from Western Sydney University, the students have been planning the launch of this campaign for several months, while continuing their studies as Year 11 students. “I am in awe of the professionalism and commitment of these students, as they have developed this award-winning concept, while learning from home in the middle of a pandemic. Their hard work is to be applauded,” says Dr Bridges.
The ‘Plant the Seed’ campaign launches on 1st November and will commence with tips to help their followers ‘Get into Life’. To follow the campaign, head to @planttheseedofficial on Facebook or Instagram.