Neami in the news
Arts mixes with mental health awareness

The Westerner
23 September, 2015

 

Talented local artist Joanne Braddy will present a solo exhibition at the Strathpine Community Centre next week as part of the 2015 Mental Health Community Resource Expo.

The Art For Art’s Sake organisation is hosting the exhibit in conjunction with a competition for local artists living in the community with mental health challenges.

Art has played a major role in Ms Braddy’s life and has served as a “survival kit” and a mental retreat where she can forget her worries.

The Strathpine resident is familiar with the challenges of living with depression and says the purpose behind most of her artwork is to reassure others and remind them that they are not alone.

“I have been working for the last five years to reduce the stigma around depression,” she said.

“I am hoping my art work can be seen by as many people as possible because I have an honest message to share.

“My goal is to be seen by the regional galleries so that one day I can have a solo exhibition tour of my message through all the regional galleries in Queensland.”

Event coordinator Vicci Gates says artists submitted work based on the expo theme: ‘Have a chuckle: laughter is great medicine for mental wellness’.

Ms Gates says these events celebrate creativity and provide an opportunity for the artists to interact and express themselves freely.

The Mental Health Community Expo will provide information, connect people with support options, as well as reduce stigma, and promote positive mental health awareness.

Stephen Heap from Neami National says noticing the lighter side of life has been useful to recovery journeys as well as for those supporting and caring for people with mental health issues.

“Laughter potentially can provide not only comic relief, but a way to unite us as a society in breaking down stigma in mutual joyful experiences, and empathy,” Mr Heap said.

The Mental Health Community Expo is on at the Strathpine Community Centre, 199 Gympie Road, Strathpine on 1 October from 10am to 2pm.

Orginally published in The Westerner

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