Gladstone State High School captains Rita Boyd and Andrew McLean are looking to stamp out bullying with the school's mental health awareness campaign. Photo Christopher Chan / The Observer
Gladstone State High School captains Rita Boyd and Andrew McLean are looking to stamp out bullying with the school's mental health awareness campaign. Photo Christopher Chan / The Observer Christopher Chan

School pitch against bullies with flash mobs and dances

FLASH mobs and dance routines are being used to prompt discussions of mental health and suicide at Gladstone State High School.

Yesterday, 1700 students formed the words "stop bullying'' on their oval as part of the school's mental health campaign.

It comes as the local community gets behind The Observer's Gladstone: We need to talk campaign, to encourage speaking out about mental health issues.

In January school captains Andrew McLean and Rita Boyd attended the Y Lead conference in Brisbane to learn how to inspire positive change in people.

On their return the senior student leaders developed an interactive campaign to put an end to bullying in their school.

"We wanted to focus on awareness, prevention and community engagement when it came to mental health issues," Andrew said. The students have since held school parades, flash mobs, and lunchtime activities to promote it.

Year 12 co-ordinator Kate Rudd said the school's program had been a success.

Gladstone State High School students show their support for a mental health awareness campaign by spelling out the words stop bullying' on their school oval. Photo Christopher Chan / The Observer
Gladstone State High School students show their support for a mental health awareness campaign by spelling out the words stop bullying' on their school oval. Photo Christopher Chan / The Observer Christopher Chan

 

"It is early days but it seems to be getting the message across. There's still a long way to go," Ms Rudd said.

Meanwhile, GAPDL has committed to donating proceeds raised from their third annual Members and Mates Golf Day to suicide-prevention charity Lifeline.

Senior project officer Kim Williams said this was the first time GAPDL would donate proceeds from the golf day to charity.

"We chose to donate to Lifeline to coincide with their annual World Suicide Prevention Day," Ms Williams said.

"Issues of mental health and suicide are becoming more prevalent everywhere."

The GAPDL charity golf day is on September 6.