Teenagers at Benalla College will sell specially-made green bandannas to raise money for mental health support as they acknowledge the anniversary of their schoolmate Max Avdyugin's suicide.

Headwear with heart: The green bandannas which will be sold by Benalla students to mark the anniversary of Max Avdyugin's death and to raise money for beyondblue.
Headwear with heart: The green bandannas which will be sold by Benalla students to mark the anniversary of Max Avdyugin's death and to raise money for beyondblue.

HANDMADE green bandannas will be sold by schoolmates of Benalla teenager Max Avdyugin to honour the anniversary of his suicide.

The headpieces will be sold on Friday for $10 each by students at Benalla College’s Barkly campus with the proceeds to benefit mental health service beyondblue.

Max, 16, a Benalla College student, died on March 19 last year after experiencing cyberbullying.

His mother Donna Mayes is pleased to see the bandannas, which feature a Superman-style logo with Max’s name, being sold.

“It’s nice they’re doing it and it’s nice they’re acknowledging him and it will be a support for a lot of his friends,” Mrs Mayes said.

Max’s death sparked a shift in the way bullying was tackled within Benalla’s education sector.

Max Avdyugin

Max Avdyugin

“I think the biggest legacy is getting all the kids together,” Mrs Mayes said.

“They look out for each other so much more, that camaraderie they’ve all got that now and then there’s the relationships they’ve formed with their teachers over the last 12 months.

“(Max) had only been there one term but the impact has been amazing and the kids have all bonded together.”

Mrs Mayes said she believed bullying of students should be highlighted to ensure schools are responsive and she welcomed Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe’s ABC television shows on the issue.

“Anything that highlights the issue around bullying in schools is going to be a positive thing, it brings it to the forefront again,” she said.

“Schools need to be addressing it and stop sweeping it under the carpet and not thinking it’s happening.”

  • For crisis or suicide help phone Lifeline on 13 11 14