Art show promotes positive mental health

October 24, 2021 BY

Award winning: Holly Would received first prize for her painting. Photo: SUPPLIED

BALLARAT Mental Health Collective’s annual art show is now online.

Within the Mental Health Month Art Exhibition, 62 works by 24 artists have been presented. Each entrant could submit up to three pieces exploring the theme of positive mental health and wellbeing.

Holly Would was awarded first prize for her painting Shannon, second place went to Claire Clifton for Finding My Way Through, while David Holdaway was third with Selfie.

Ballarat Community Health’s Philippa Cane helped facilitate the show, and said art is a way for people to regulate their feelings and emotions.

“Art’s therapeutic value as a medium for alleviating stress, anxiety and depression is well documented,” she said.

“Benefits cross all social groups and ethnicities, regardless of age or gender, and can contribute to increased feelings of self-worth and quality of life outcomes.

“Research identifies that one of the top priorities for people struggling with poor mental health is addressing loneliness and social isolation. Giving participants something to focus on and contribute to like an art exhibition leads to improved community connection, creating a supportive, encouraging, and positive community space.”

All the creatives involved in the exhibition have experienced a mental health condition, have supported someone in their life with mental health challenges, or strive to promote awareness.

Encouragement awards went to Kayden Mott for his illustration Homework, Kurt Sternberg for Tangled Mess and Carol Saunders for her painting, The Seasons of Life.

The City of Ballarat, Catholic Care Victoria, Inspire Support, Ballarat Health Services, The Y, Central Highlands Primary Care Partnership and Ballarat Community Health make up the Ballarat Mental Health Collective.

Mental Health Month activities, including the exhibition, are facilitated by the Collective each year.

“Raising community awareness, providing education and reducing stigma about mental health, builds tolerance, compassion and understanding; creating a safer, more inclusive and resilient community,” Ms Cane said.

Visit bchc.org.au/services/art-exhibition to check out the exhibition.

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