It's literally a case of spreading paint to spread the word that it's OK not to be OK.
A dead tree on the corner of Brockley Street and Thomas Mitchell Drive, Wodonga has been given a "blue lease on life" thanks to Albury-Wodonga Lifeline crisis support worker Rob Wood, painter Rob Voggenreiter and Wattyl Paints Wodonga's Greg McDonald.
Mr Wood and his wife Louie were on a trip across the Nullarbor in 2019 when they kept spotting random blue trees out the window.
Intrigued, they googled the phenomenon and discovered The Blue Tree Project.
The story began in February, 2014 with a young man called Jayden Whyte, who decided to paint a tree blue on his family farm in Western Australia to test how long it would take before anyone noticed it.
It was to inspire a movement to paint other trees blue in memory of Jayden and to spark conversations about mental health.
The Blue Tree Project now has 612 trees (including the one at Wodonga) registered across every state, the Northern Territory, Tasmania, New Zealand, US and Europe.
Its mission is "to help spark difficult conversations and encourage people to speak up when battling mental health concerns".
When Mr Wood, a Lifeline volunteer of 11 years, returned from holidays he kept "mulling it over" and had spotted the partially painted tree near the Wodonga racecourse and it prompted him to act.
He asked Rob Voggenreiter whether he'd be interested in painting a tree for him.
"He showed me what he had in mind," said Mr Voggenreiter, a painting contractor of some 30 years.
"It's the first tree I'd ever painted but with everything that's going on in the world - I know a few kids who've had a tough time - I thought it was a great cause."
Mr Wood said Wodonga events co-ordinator Melissa Nagle had helped sort out the red tape to paint a tree blue on council-owned land.
It took two coats of a Wattyl paint, originally called 'Billie Jean' to bring the tree to life; Wattyl has since re-named the colour 'Blue Tree' for the project.
Mr Wood's hope is the tree will spark curiosity and conversations.
"We need to ask each other 'Are you OK?' and we need to let people know there is help out there," he says.
Albury-Wodonga Lifeline, which has been operating for 42 years, provides 'spectacular' training in this area, according to Mr Wood.
"We have hundreds of (some now retired) counsellors embedded in our community trained in mental health support.
"So get along to the Lifeline shop and support it ... and if you know of any more trees, we've got plenty of paint."
If you need help
- If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline 24/7 Crisis Support on 13 11 14. You can also text 0477 13 11 14 (12pm to midnight).