Forced to resign from her job as a primary school teacher because of severe anxiety and panic attacks, Linda Privitelli found herself in a very dark place.

“I was house bound for a good part of a year and needed to find purpose again,” she said.

“Once I started speaking to people about my own mental health issues, it became evident that so many of my friends’ children, and even the children I taught were also suffering from similar mental health issues.

“What I found most difficult was trying to explain to others what I was thinking and feeling. I’m an adult! Imagine how overwhelming this must be for children experiencing mental health issues.”

The Werribee resident decided she wanted to make a difference in the lives of children, and created the Wuppy to help.

“I designed the little Wuppy – a sausage dog worry puppy, as an aid to help children ease their children’s woes,” she said.

“We all know mental health issues are quite serious, and it’s important to bring about change, remove the stigma, and encourage action, especially when it comes to children.”

She said a special feature of the Wuppy is its heart. When a child places the worry dog’s heart against their own heart, they can send their worries so they no longer need to worry.

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