Art of feel­ing good

CRAFTING BET­TER MEN­TAL HEALTH

Weekend Courier - - Front Page - Vic­to­ria Ri­fici

COOLOONGUP res­i­dent and men­tal health ad­vo­cate Bec Thomas hopes to help those af­fected by men­tal health is­sues through art and craft.

Rock­ing­ham res­i­dents who have been af­fected by men­tal health is­sues are el­i­gi­ble to par­tic­i­pate in free work­shops in ce­ram­ics, hand sewing, paint­ing and short story writ­ing through the Out of the Blue project.

Ms Thomas is the Friends of Rock­ing­ham Arts Com­mu­nity (FORAC) chair­woman. She said all ‘un­der the sea’ work­shop cre­ations would be ex­hib­ited at the Rock­ing­ham Arts Cen­tre dur­ing Men­tal Health Week in Oc­to­ber.

“This com­mu­nity project aims to in­volve peo­ple who have been af­fected by men­tal ill­ness in a pos­i­tive at­mos­phere and pro­mote the well-be­ing ben­e­fits of cre­ativ­ity when deal­ing with men­tal health is­sues,” she said.

The mother of two said she had lived with a men­tal health con­di­tion for more than 20 years.

“I have only in the past five years, since mov­ing to Rock­ing­ham, been of­fered the right med­i­ca­tion and ther­apy to al­low me to man­age my con­di­tion and live a pro­duc­tive life,” she said.

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing help with her men­tal health, Ms Thomas started a ce­ram­ics stu­dio in Rock­ing­ham and cre­ated not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion FORAC to com­bine her pas­sion of the arts and help­ing oth­ers.

“My pas­sion is work­ing with peo­ple with men­tal ill­ness and in­volv­ing them in the arts as a ther­apy,” she said.

Ms Thomas said the work­shops would high­light the im­por­tance of men­tal health.

“We re­ceived $7500 from the coun­cil for this project to fund these work­shops over the next few months,” she said. www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d482094

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Bec Thomas is host­ing art work­shops to im­prove men­tal health out­comes.

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