News, announcements and more.

Nov 23, 2018

Lower Hutt students band together for 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.

st bernards students

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 raising 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 to create a business with a community focus around 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," CEO Balao said.

The students started looking at statistics around mental health.

"One in five New Zealanders will have experienced mental health problems. Everyone knows someone," John 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. Posi Vibes was born.

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 with a different colour, marking a different theme. 

A pink band represented awareness of mental health, green for depression, white as a peaceful colour, as well as the company's colour and a blue band, which represented 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.

So far they had sold around 160 and hoped to sell the remaining bands.

McCloy, who was nominated as CFO for Posi Vibes said they were giving all the revenue from the bands to the Mental Health Foundation.

* To find out more about Posi Vibes or buy a bracelet, search "Posi Vibes 2018" on Facebook or Instagram.