FORWARD THINKERS: Rockhampton High students Shenae Fray and Ashton Maggiotto work on their project with fellow students Tess Hill, Leyland Walters and Joshua Malick.
FORWARD THINKERS: Rockhampton High students Shenae Fray and Ashton Maggiotto work on their project with fellow students Tess Hill, Leyland Walters and Joshua Malick. Allan Reinikka ROK160218astudent

Rocky students' big ideas to spread mental health awareness

ROCKY school students have brainstormed ideas to help people suffering with mental illnesses.

Many students from high schools across Rockhampton participated in the Young Change Agents program in groups this week.

Ashton Maggiotto teamed up with fellow classmates, Shenae Fray, Tess Hill, Leyland Walters and Joshua Malick.

For two and a half days, they have been working towards creating an app for phones and computers.

Their plan is to help people who have a mental illness, come from disadvantaged backgrounds or feel excluded at school.

The course required them to create a vision map, create a social enterprise model, form a budget and pitch their ideas.

These students are using this platform to spread awareness for those issues so other people can come on board.

One of the group members, Shenae Fray said there would be different features in the app which include a chat room where people could share their issues and not feel alone or isolated.

There would also be a calendar where users can set goals for themselves, write reflections and plan events, inspirational quotes would also pop up as well as set activities.

Ms Fray said they want to see society become more accepting of people with mental illnesses and gain a greater understanding of it.

She said they are raising money to hold events, such as a market where people can come together, talk about their experiences and any food they bake can be sold.

They also envisage creating a virtual reality area where people can see through the eyes of those with mental health issues.

Grade eight, nine and ten students from Rockhampton State High School, North Rockhampton State High School, Glenmore State High School and Emmaus College took part in the Young Change Agent program from Wednesday to Friday.

They were among the first schools in Australia to take advantage of the initiative.

The aim of the project, which was hosted at Rockhampton State High School was for the students to use simple business concepts to solve social problems and make our future brighter.

Young Change Agents Queensland and Northern Territory programs manager, Anthea Edmunds said the course provided an opportunity for the young students to make a positive change in society.



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