St Bernard’s College students raising awareness of mental health

mental health

A group of Year 12 students from Lower Hutt’s St Bernard’s College are spreading only good vibes with their Posi Vibes business.

Set up at the start of the school year, five students decided to sell wristbands to raise money and awareness for the Mental Health Foundation.

John Balao, 17, Andrew Hislop, 16, Sam McCloy, 16, Jabez Castro, 17 and Ralph Consignado, 16 started their business project under the Young Enterprise Scheme.

They created a business with a community focus about social issues.

“We looked at what makes a social issue and what are the most common social issues. We found things like depression and bullying,” said Balao, the chief executive.

The students began looking at statistics around mental health.

“One in five New Zealanders will have experienced mental health problems. Everyone knows someone,” Balao said.

Looking around at their peers, those problems could include anything from depression and bullying to stress and anxiety around exam season.

They wanted to raise awareness of these issues, as well as fundraising for the Mental Health Foundation.

They settled on making wristbands after surveying and talking to their peers.

“We found out that the best way to make our business a success was to look at our own generation,” John said.

They decided to make four different wristbands, each one a different colour, marking a different theme.

A pink band represents awareness of mental health, green for depression, white as a peaceful colour as well as the company’s colour, and a blue band which represents their school and the core values taught there.

They made 300 of the bands to sell for $2 each and set to work marketing and selling them both at school and at a Wellington market.


News category: New Zealand.

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