Boating project ready to launch

PEOPLE will have the opportunity to paint boats that have been built by students living with mental health issues.

Before the “River 2 Recovery” team embark in their five small craft down the Murray from Albury to Mulwala in November, they want to spread their message and eliminate the stigma of mental health.

The 17 builders will take their boats to the farmers’ market at Gateway Village tomorrow where the public is encouraged to paint the boats to show support and raise awareness.

Wodonga TAFE Institute has partnered with St Luke’s Mental Health Recovery Services to create the Certificate 1 in Transition Education course for people challenged by mental health issues so they could gain confidence and skills.

TAFE timber studies, metal fabrication and engineering team leader Don Terry said the course was specifically designed and was great for the students to see what they had created.

Sebastien France, 23, has been part of the team since January and has concentrated on planning the trip down the Murray and involving others.

He said the project was close to his heart because he had dealt with anxiety and depression all his life.

“I like having a steady project to focus on,” he said.

“It’s something important and gives us the opportunity to share our stories with the community.”

Mr France said the project had made him feel accepted because he met others from similar backgrounds.

The team will be attending the farmers’ market from 7am until noon.

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