Their young lives have already been touched by the tragic hand of suicide, and these Wagga High School students have decided to turn their final weeks of the year into lasting change for the cause.
As part of their enrichment activities, year 10 students spent the past few weeks fundraising to support Riverina Bluebell.
Wednesday marked the culmination of their efforts, as they handed over the grand total of $907.50 to Allen Hunt, a representative of the mental health initiative.
For 16-year-old Kyrah Evans, funding the cause has been more than just a way to pass the time until the end of the year.
"[Mental health] is a struggle a lot of people our age have," she said.
In recent years, the student has known several close friends who have had attempts at taking their own lives. The experience has taught her the lifesaving value of friendship and a listening ear.
"The best way to help them is to listen to them," Kyra said.
"If you know them well, you'll notice little things. They might try to push you away, they may become distant or they might not be eating right.
"Approach them first, and then seek help from a year adviser or school council."
Similarly, Lucy Jefferis has walked alongside some of her friends and family members who have been consumed by dark thoughts.
"I didn't notice it until I was told about it and then it became more obvious," she said.
Following a friend's attempt at suicide, Lucy was so shocked she tried to avoid processing the information.
But in the ensuing time, the 16-year-old has come to understand that acknowledging the pain is the first step to helping someone find freedom.
"When I found out, I stayed up all night cleaning my room, I was procrastinating and trying not to think about it," she said.
Given the magnitude of the experiences the students spoke of on Wednesday morning, Mr Hunt expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the school's support of suicide prevention.
"It's so great to hear from students that they want to make a difference, and that they know listening to someone is so important," Mr Hunt said.
"Mental health, like physical health is an ongoing thing that has to be managed and can't be fixed overnight."
Mr Hunt praised the selfless efforts of the students who chose to spend their final weeks of the year, and the decade, in support of saving lives.
"It's something I wish was around when I was young. Back then, we weren't taught to talk about it and it made the struggle so much worse," Mr Hunt said.
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