Students brewing up stronger mental health awareness

The Mad Tea Co has been started by a group of passionate Flinders University students – including Josh Jarvis and Caleb Pattinson (pictured above) – who are disheartened by the lack of awareness about mental health in our community. And they feel brewing a nice herbal tea can provide a first step along the path to improvement.

The not-for-profit venture hopes to raise funds through selling herbal teas, to assist mental health projects, therapeutic green spaces and educative resources that will empower individuals to care for themselves and others. And although the group was instigated at Flinders, it believes the movement will transcend beyond the campus to reach across the state.

Caleb Pattinson, who recently completed the New Venture Institute’s Venture Dorm entrepreneurial course, says the group wants to bridge a huge gap that exists in our society between having an enjoyable life and needing crisis support.

“We want to create a movement that will empower people to discuss mental health every day without fear of stigma,” he says. “It’s an issue that needs to be addressed in across our communities.

“We all have a story of our own lived experiences, or the lived experiences of our friends and family. Poor mental health and its consequences takes its toll on us all.

“We’ve already starting linking in with mental health experts, grassroot organisations as well as suicide prevention networks.”

The Mad Tea Co additionally wants to highlight the disproportionate level of poor mental health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

The movement’s current emphasis is attracting donations through a crowd funding campaign but the group is also has plans to sell a range of herbal teas via its social media platforms, so that funds can help change the landscape of mental health in our communities.

Interested people can subscribe to a Mad Tea Co mailing list via Google Doc.

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