For nearly a decade, veterinarian and animal science students at the University of Sydney have gathered together to take off their clothes. But it isn't one of those notoriously sordid uni parties that arguably breaks a few laws, this is all for a good cause. They take a few pictures with their kit off for an annual calendar, with all of the proceeds going towards a charity of their choice.

This year, they've decided to target mental health in rural and remote areas of Australia, as the statistics are pretty harrowing. The more rural you go, the higher the rate of suicide.

Young blokes in regional, rural and remote areas as a whole are estimated to commit suicide at twice the rate compared to metropolitan areas. To help raise awareness for those issues, dozens of USYD students set up a photo shoot at the uni's farm in the Camden area.

Vets Shedding the Stigma spokesperson Cillian Coleman has told LADbible: "[The calendar] started off small and was mostly just a way to do a bit of charity work while students were living together on the university farms for their fourth year.

"Since it's a tradition a lot of people are actually eager to be involved. I think a couple people were nervous on the day but our photographer, Meredith Schofield, was great allaying any fears we had.

"We've seen that people are happy to start talking about this sensitive topic. They're interested in what we're saying, and I think because of how fun the whole calendar feels, it really brings a bit of levity to a fairly taboo topic.

Credit: Supplied

"And we love it because the more people we can get talking about this calendar, the more we can help people address mental health in their own lives and the more support we can give rural and remote mental health to provide the services needed."

They say they take the utmost care of the animals involved in the shoot, and to be fair, they're probably the most qualified people to be handling the different species.

One of the students involved, Courtney Turner, said: "For the first few shots it felt a bit awkward for everyone trying to get into position, but by the end of the day we were all super comfortable and having the best time.

"Surprisingly, or maybe unsurprisingly, the boys were more than ready to drop their dacks for the cause."

On top of the worrying statistics surrounding suicide in remote and rural areas, further information reveals a large number of veterinarians suffer from mental health issues.

According to the Canadian Veterinary Journal, the rate of suicide in the vet industry is more than twice the rest of the medical profession and four times higher than the general population.

These USYD students are doing their bit to shine a light on this concerning trend and hopefully their calendar can start a conversation.

'U OK M8?' is an initiative from LADbible in partnership with a range of mental health charities which features a series of films and stories to raise awareness of mental health.

Explore more here and don't suffer in silence. Reach out. It's the brave thing to do.

Featured Image Credit: Supplied

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