Stronger together in Tassie 

Wellways held several creative and information workshops at neighbourhood houses in Tasmania, to help bring people together during Mental Health Week. With the theme of 'Stronger Together' the workshops promoted physical and emotional wellbeing with sessions on stress, mindfulness, sleep and self-esteem. 

Three creative workshops were also offered thanks to a grant from the Mental Health Council of Tasmania. Southern Tasmania manager Linda Carpenter said the creative workshop at Karadi Aboriginal Corporation in Goodwood was a highlight. “We had just over 25 people attend the session and there was a wonderful creative buzz in the room,” she said.

Feedback from participants was positive with one saying: “I’m struggling lately, but I’m glad I came as it distracted me and cheered me up”.  The sessions were part of the Grassroots Mental Health Project, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services in Tasmania.

Minds do Matter art show hits the road

There were more than 200 entries in the Minds Do Matter Art Exhibition held in Launceston during Mental Health Week. Along with a huge response from artists, the exhibition also attracted plenty of media attention and recently took to the road.  The Rural Arts Show has packed up the exhibition and is taking it to rural and remote communities in Tasmania. The roadshow was organised by the University of Tasmania’s Centre for Rural Health in partnership with Wellways.

Share the Journey Mental Health Expo

A highlight in northern New South Wales during Mental Health Week was the Wellways-organised Share the Journey expo held in Lismore on October 20, sponsored by the North Coast Primary Health Network. The day was a great success with plenty of people enjoying breakfast, sharing positive stories and finding out more about local services. Dr Megan Lawrence, the Network’s Mental Health Reform director, said it had been great day “to celebrate many people’s stories of resilience and recovery”.

More events in regional centres

The Wellways Enhanced Adult Community Living Support Service in the Illawarra Shoalhaven area helped stage a Mental Health Expo during Mental Health Month. To coincide with the expo, artwork from the creative storytelling workshop was displayed and there was a Walk of Pride through the streets of Wollongong. See the TV news story here.

Elsewhere, events in Victoria included a week of art, mental health and wellbeing expos, barbecues, soccer matches and plenty of community involvement in metropolitan and regional centres.

Great day out for canine pals

The north-west Tasmanian Wellways team celebrated our four-legged friends during Mental Health Week. On 11 October people, staff and their dogs turned out to stretch their legs, raise awareness of mental health, enjoy a barbecue and celebrate their pets and the importance they play in our lives. Participant Charlie Caldwell, of Burnie, led off the walk with Norman, his toy poodle. When interviewed by the local media Charlie said: “I have trouble socialising but Norman is my constant companion, he gives me an excuse, where I have to do things.” 

Welcome mental health peer workers to the Hobart team 

Adelle Williams and Kate Fleming, have just started working in the Wellways Hobart office as Mental Health Peer Workers, Rehabilitation and Recovery. Adelle has been a My Recovery peer facilitator for several years and recently trained as the team’s first Building a Future facilitator in southern Tasmania. 

Kate Fleming has also been a peer facilitator for a Women’s Health Victoria program, Power on Women’s Program for Aspire, which was presented a number of years ago in partnership with Women’s Health Tasmania. Welcome to Wellways and the Hobart team Kate and Adelle.

Fundraising art show

Proceeds of Agni, a multi-media show by painter Malcolm Berry and others in Melbourne, will help raise money for Wellways. The exhibition explores fire and its power to protect, destroy and give life and is on from 6 December at the Mission to Seafarers.