“I share my story, not to share the pain, but to share hope for anyone that is struggling.”
Kendall Whyte, Founder and CEO of The Blue Tree Project, shared her incredibly moving story of losing her brother Jayden to suicide in 2018.
We’ve all seen the trees across WA, but many of us may not have known the story behind them and the hope they aspire to give. The Blue Tree Project was inspired by a mischievous story shared about Jayden at his funeral. One night Jayden and a friend snuck out and painted a large dead tree bright blue as a practical joke on the family property in Mukinbudin. From here, the inspiration to use this visual to inspire hope was born.
Kendall spoke of the importance of mental wellbeing and the power of positivity as she reminded us that the leading cause of death in Australians 14-45 is by suicide. She believes we still have a way to go to overcome many outdated prejudices about mental health and truly believes all suicides are preventable.
Kendall shared The Blue Tree Project mission is to create the opportunity to start often difficult conversations and to also overcome the stigma that she says is still attached to mental health.
Kendall hopes the blue trees will act as a visual reminder to check in on a loved one, a mate going through a rough time but also to check in on ourselves. She encourages us to get involved in the many community events her charity helps to organise and also to seek further information and resources at her website www.bluetreeproject.com
Kendall is a remarkable young woman who has turned her tragedy into a story of hope to people all over Western Australia and for her efforts was awarded WA Young person of the year 2022.
If this story has affected you please call LIFELINE on 13 11 14 or BEYOND BLUE on 1300 224 636.