Minds Do Matter Launceston Art Exhibition

Wellways Launceston will again host the popular Minds Do Matter art exhibition during Mental Health Week as part of efforts to raise greater community awareness of mental illness and reduce the stigma that surrounds it. 

This exhibition explores the relationship between art and wellbeing, celebrating the power of art to be life-enhancing and life-affirming. Community members were invited to enter their artwork and take part in discussions around this year’s theme ‘Inspirations’.

The Honourable Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health will open the exhibition on Friday 6 October 2017 as part of Mental Health Week events. Last year, more than 130 people attended the opening event. 

Minds Do Matter art exhibition runs 30 September to 29 October 2017 at The Community Gallery, Queen Victoria Museum, 2 Ivermay Road, Iveresk, Launceston. 

Grassroots Mental Health Project in Tasmania

The Wellways Grassroots Mental Health Project recently held two successful Understanding Mental Health and Mental Illness workshops at Karadi Aboriginal Corporation in Goodwood and the Dunalley Tasman Neighbourhood House in Nubeena.

Wellways Senior Program Worker Nick McGowen and Peer Worker Lisa-ann Gershwin facilitated the workshops. Feedback from participants has been excellent with Neighbourhood House staff commenting: “Personal stories and experiences highly valued. Very well delivered and balanced presentation.”

Grassroots Community Development Worker Allan Johnson said the Understanding Mental Health and Mental Illness workshops were just one way the project was working to assist Neighbourhood Houses around Tasmania to welcome and respond to people who experience mental illness.

“We have now completed workshops in 27 Neighbourhood House communities around the state, with 244 staff members, volunteers and community members attending the sessions.”

Allan said the recent State Budget included an additional three years of funding for the Grassroots Mental Health Project through the Department of Health and Human Services.

For further information about the Wellways Grassroots Mental Health Project in Tasmania contact Allan Johnson (North/North West) (03) 6333 3111 or Kelly Madden on (03) 6169 0600.

New Council advises ACT Office of Mental Health

Wellways ACT/NSW General Manager, Gavin Bussenschutt, has been appointed Chair of ACT’s new Mental Health Advisory Council. Following his appointment, Gavin named establishing the Office of Mental Health, suicide prevention and keeping young people well as his key priorities.

The Council’s remit includes the development of a mental health and wellbeing strategy that identifies any gaps in the system, and advises the Government on where resources could be best allocated. It will also examine how to better integrate the expanding suite of ACT services that are offered through the federally funded Primary Health Network to avoid duplication of resources.

“Driving the Office of Mental Health forward creates that extra bit of structure in the ACT, and the opportunity to have a body that identifies needs and potentially drives the development of policy and implementation of that policy,” Gavin says.

Following its meeting in July with the Minister for Mental Health, Shane Rattenbury, the Mental Health Advisory Council will work on a position paper that will be put out for public comment.

Find out more.

Tomorrow’s community workers increasing mental health awareness today

TasTAFE Community Services students recently approached the Wellways Burnie office to help them discover what services were available to people with mental health issues in north-west Tasmania.

Inspired by their research, the students became keen to raise awareness of mental health in their community. They decided to host a high tea in their local shopping centre, with funds donated to a mental health provider in north-west Tasmania. 

The students eagerly approached local businesses and were delighted by the in-kind support they received which included ingredients to make the high tea and gift donations for raffles on the day. 

The TasTAFE High Tea on 3 August was very successful in raising funds and awareness. Wellways Program Co-ordinator Kelli Radford was thrilled when students decided to donate the funds to Wellways. 

Kelli was later invited to the TasTAFE Burnie campus on 17 August to talk to the class about Wellways services and its vision. As a former alumni herself, Kelli also spoke about careers in the community sector. 

After drawing the lucky raffle winners, Kelli was presented with a cheque for $592.80 to support the work of Wellways in north-west Tasmania. 

Wellways to Health Program Tasmania

The Wellways to Health program in Tasmania aims to stop low intensity mental health issues from escalating and has been endorsed by Primary Health Tasmania.

This holistic, self-managed preventative program helps people with ongoing health conditions, such as stress, anxiety or mood disorders, learn to live life to the fullest.  

Previously known as the Optimal Health program, it was originally developed at the Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria and St Vincent’s Hospital.

Self-management programs are clinically proven to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life as people learn strategies, skills and confidence to copy with symptoms, manage fatigue, handle stress, reduce depression, manage medication and be active and healthy.

The program is ideal for those who may struggle to access other funded or private psychological services due to cost or remoteness of location. People can also self-refer to without visiting a GP.

The eight-week program, with 1-2 hour weekly sessions, covers a range of topics including health plans, medications, visioning and goal setting, and change enhancement.

For more information please contact Wellways Tasmania by email or phone 1300 111 500. 

Mental Health Week regional events

Wellways theme for Mental Health Week/Month is ‘Sharing stories, changing lives’. To celebrate this important time in the Wellways calendar, we are holding events across the week (in Victoria, Tasmania, ACT) and Mental Health Month (in NSW). Check out the What’s On section of the Wellways website to find out what activities and events are happening near you.