More than 35 Year 8 students recently entered the annual Benalla Live4Life competition.
To enter, young people were required to submit a creative project that increased understanding, reduced stigma and improved mental health knowledge.
The theme for the 2018 Benalla Live4Life competition was ‘‘It Ain’t Weak to Speak’’, a theme selected by the Benalla Live4Life Crew, a group of volunteer years 9 and 10 students who have driven the program throughout the year.
The winning entry was a collaboration by Year 8 students from FCJ College.
They produced a mini-documentary featuring themselves, other students and older community members that reinforced the importance of mental health help-seeking.
Runners up and highly commended participants were also awarded for entries that included a photo booth, an interactive art project and a poster.
Acting Mayor Peter Davis said the calibre of entries showed the sophistication of how students were considering mental health.
‘‘The Benalla Live4Life competition entries indicate a high level of understanding about mental health issues that affect young people today,’’ Cr Davis said.
‘‘The Live4Life Crew selected the winning entries based on creative innovation, quality of work, clarity of message and adherence to theme.
‘‘The competition encourages the development of the skills and knowledge that help young people recognise the state of their own mental health and that of those around them.
‘‘The competition demonstrated that students can promote the mental health messages that are most valid and important to them.’’
The winners accepted their awards at the Live4Life celebration at the Drill Hall Community Activity Centre on October 17.
●Winning entries can be viewed on Benalla Youth’s Instagram page (@BenallaYouth) and on the Benalla Youth Facebook page (@BenallaYouth).