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Creativity creates recovery for mental illness

Monday, October 02, 2017

Art, colour and music will fill the corridors at Eastern Health next week, as staff and consumers celebrate creativity as a tool for mental health recovery.

“Our peers testify that creativity creates recovery, so we have decided to theme our Mental Health Week activities around this concept,” Bronwyn Williams, Eastern Health’s Recovery Framework Implementation project officer said.

“Anyone can experience mental ill-health and most people know someone going through it, whether it is a family member, friend, carer or colleague.”

Ms Williams said her team will be encouraging people to get creative as a way to look after their mental health.

“Listening to music, colouring in, writing a short story – these activities are just a few of the many simple and effective ways to look after your own mental health,” Ms Williams said.

Eastern Health’s main event to celebrate Mental Health Week will be held in the Box Hill Hospital Atrium on Monday 9 October 2017 between 12pm – 2pm.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Melbourne Polytechnic who will provide a musical performance by their students, as well as presentations from a consumer, carer and family member to share their experience of mental ill-health and recovery.”

Last year Eastern Health collected messages of hope from staff, consumers, carers and the general public. These messages will be presented in a picture book called the “Little Eastern Book of Hope”, collated by Mental Health Program Peer Worker, Sam Ryan.

Events and activities at other Eastern Health sites throughout the week include a BBQ at the Maroondah PARC on October 12 where Jonathan, a past resident, will be creating a new sculpture, an elephant called Faith, which will be a fountain where current residents can place messages written on stones. “Last year Jonathan sculpted ‘Hope’ - the original elephant sculpture as a gift of appreciation to the service for their support through some personally challenging times,” Ms Williams said.

“Inspired by Jonathan’s first sculpture, patients and staff will be decorating their own papier mache elephants with messages of hope for recovery as a decoupage exercise in an effort to ‘address the elephant in the room’ which is so often mental illness.”