Men­tal health in the frame

Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Ali­cia Per­era

The im­por­tance of com­mu­nity in­volve­ment and lov­ing where you live for main­tain­ing good men­tal health is be­ing pro­moted by two Pil­bara not-for-profit groups through a new pho­tog­ra­phy com­pe­ti­tion.

The Kar­ratha and Onslow branches of men­tal health pro­mo­tion or­gan­i­sa­tion Act-Be­long-Com­mit last Mon­day opened Pho­toVoice, a cam­paign ask­ing Pil­bara res­i­dents to take a photo in line with the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s theme of com­mu­nity in­volve­ment and send it in with a short de­scrip­tion that ex­plains its mean­ing to the pho­tog­ra­pher.

Act-Be­long-Com­mit Pil­bara health pro­mo­tion co-or­di­na­tor Gemma Brooks said the com­pe­ti­tion chal­lenged res­i­dents to pay more at­ten­tion to their men­tal health, as well as the di­verse op­por­tu­ni­ties to get in­volved in their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

“If we keep ac­tive, get in­volved in com­mu­nity life, and do things that give us a sense of mean­ing and pur­pose, we not only feel hap­pier, but we can cope bet­ter with prob­lems and stress,” she said.

“Pho­toVoice re­ally aims to get peo­ple re­flect­ing on the many positives of liv­ing in the Pil­bara, things like our beau­ti­ful land­scape, wel­com­ing com­mu­ni­ties and op­por­tu­ni­ties to get in­volved.

“It’s also a chance for peo­ple to try their hand at pho­tog­ra­phy and be in­spired by ways other peo­ple in the com­mu­nity keep men­tally healthy, be­cause it can be some­thing dif­fer­ent for ev­ery­one.”

The com­pe­ti­tion runs un­til Fri­day, Septem­ber 16.

Win­ners will be an­nounced at awards nights in Kar­ratha and Onslow dur­ing Men­tal Health Week and the pho­tos will be ex­hib­ited in Oc­to­ber.

Up for grabs are cam­eras, iPads and Act-Be­long-Com­mit prize packs. The com­pe­ti­tion will also in­clude free pho­tog­ra­phy work­shops for adults and high school stu­dents in Kar­ratha and Onslow dur­ing Au­gust.

Pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher Marg Bertling, who is lead­ing some of the Kar­ratha work­shops, said pho­tog­ra­phy was a good ac­tiv­ity be­cause it al­lowed peo­ple to ex­press them­selves ar­tis­ti­cally.

“It en­ables an­other way to un­lock those things go­ing on in your head. It takes them out from the in­side and turns them into some­thing pro­duc­tive,” she said.

The Pil­bara Pho­toVoice com­pe­ti­tions are spon­sored by Chevron and Health­way.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to act­be­long­com­mit.org.au/ pho­tovoice. To reg­is­ter for the work­shops, con­tact gemma.brooks@curtin.edu.au or phone 9143 2240.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

Act-Be­long-Com­mit Pil­bara health pro­mo­tion co-or­di­na­tor Gemma Brooks, cen­tre, with Pho­toVoice Kar­ratha work­shop pho­tog­ra­phers Marg Bertling and Court­ney McFar­land.

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