Ray Sun: headspace Hurstville
Ray spread a big dose of sunshine and an important message
The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant has enabled headspace Hurstville to release their Zine, titled Mind-ful, a publication made to raise awareness around mental health among local, young people and the wider community, as well as support headspace Hurstville's Youth Reference Group and Family and Carers.
By December 2018, 500 printed copies of Mind-ful were read by young people in the community. This resource was distributed across local high schools, universities, GP waiting areas, local libraries, local youth services, headspace events and stalls and local counselling services.
Raymond Sun was in his final year of high school when he first started volunteering at his local Headspace, a national youth mental health organisation.
Even though he was in the middle of his HSC, he jumped at the chance to help out because he wanted to inspire others going through tough times.
“My parents named me Ray Sun, perhaps as a way to remind me to stay positive and be a ray of sunshine to myself and others,” he says.
“But life is not all smooth sailing, and I’ve had my ups and downs, yet I’ve gotten through them.
“With each challenge, I’ve realised the power of your mindset and the power of your resilience, in conquering life’s hurdles, and I wanted to share that experience.”
That was four years ago, and the law student still devotes his time to the organisation which supports people aged 12 to 25 with mental health, physical health, work and study and substance issues.
As a member of the Youth Reference Group, Ray attends meetings, events and school presentations to advocate for youth mental health and support his peers. At these events, Ray shares stories of his life experience and offers self-care advice and tips.
Ray says Headspace spreads the message that mental health is not just about depression and anxiety.
“We want to expand the community’s knowledge and awareness of mental health beyond those two things,” he says.
“Mental health also encapsulates spirituality, meditation, a positive mindset and resilience."
“These positive things are also part of mental health and changing even one person’s perspective or understanding of that is what makes the headspace journey so meaningful. “
He says he was surprised and grateful to be voted as a Westfield Local Hero.
If you or anyone you know would like more information on what support is available:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
MensLine: 1300 78 99 78