Festival’s focus on mental health
OCTOBER is National Mental Health Month and as part of this year’s campaign, the annual Art of the Minds festival is asking everyone to come together and celebrate creative community conversations and connections.
Art of the Minds Festival president Jules Haddock said COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the community’s mental health and wants everyone to register for events.
“October is an important time where we come together to raise awareness and promote better mental health for all,” Mrs Haddock said.
“Thanks to the generous support of local businesses, artists, professionals and sponsors, events have been organised to connect our community members of all ages and backgrounds to raise awareness and improve our understanding of mental health.
“The more individuals and organisations get involved in our events and campaigns, the more we have an opportunity to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and contribute to creating a mentally healthy community.”
For the first time, Art of the Minds is awarding local health care provider WHR Allied Health the 2021 Health and Wellbeing Award for their contributions to improving workplace mental health practices on the Surf Coast.
“WHR Allied Health has received recognition from Mental Health First Aid Australia as a GOLD skilled workforce,” Mrs Haddock said.
“Not only is this a mean feat and a great benchmark for other services and businesses to aspire to, but they are, as witnessed by myself, a service that really cares about the mental health wellbeing of their own staff.
“In launching this award, we will encourage nominations for 2022 to the deserving services that demonstrate this dual care to both clients and our community members and staff, as often the staff or volunteers’ wellbeing is lost in the direct support for others.”
Businesses interested in learning about how to manage the mental wellbeing of employees in the workplace are encouraged to attend the free online seminar “Supporting Employees’ Mental Wellbeing” on Sunday, October 5, from 9.30am-11.30am.
“Looking after your mental health can mean anything from going for a walk, relaxing on the couch to eating well, showing gratitude, spending time with a friend or family member or simply reading a book in your favourite chair,” Mrs Haddock said.
“Our mindful colour-in campaign aims to raise awareness around some of the simple pleasures that can work as well as encouraging people to connect with one another.”
To join this year’s campaign and help reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, head to artoftheminds.org.au, register for an event and download a colour-in mandala to enjoy with someone you care about.