In times of distress, many of us have found ourselves desperate for a few moments of privacy and solitude.

In our schools students in despair often make a beeline for that one sacred sanctum, the bathrooms.

Sadly, research shows that this is the very place where bullying and intimidation can be rife.

In a climate where youth mental health and anti-bullying campaigns are paramount, it is greatly concerning that young people are at risk of encountering damaging behaviours when they are at their most fragile.

East Maitland Public School, with the generous help of East Maitland Lions Club, has recently completed a mental health project where the school bathrooms have been reimagined as a more inviting and welcoming space; a space with positive affirmations, bold colours and clean and working facilities; a space where the contact information for children's support services and crisis help lines are on display.

I congratulate East Maitland Public School P&C vice president Kylee Holwell on her vision and coordination of the project and I also give heartfelt thanks to the Lions Club of East Maitland, which funded the project and provided volunteer painters.

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