Welling­ton lo­cals weave to­gether

Dubbo Photo News - - Emergency report - By LY­DIA PEDRANA

IN a bid to bring the com­mu­nity to­gether and raise aware­ness for men­tal health dur­ing the drought, Welling­ton lo­cals had the op­por­tu­nity to ex­er­cise their cre­ative skills ear­lier this month.

Or­gan­ised by Welling­ton’s Qual­ity of Ex­pe­ri­ence (QOE) group and funded by Western NSW Pri­mary Health Net­work, the pub­lic was in­vited to try their hand at weav­ing, while learn­ing more about read­ily avail­able men­tal health re­sources.

Lau­rinne Montgomery, a psy­chi­atric nurse and mem­ber of the QOE group, was in­spired to use her skills to make a dif­fer­ence to her lo­cal com­mu­nity af­ter los­ing a neigh­bour, who was also a fam­ily friend, to sui­cide.

“I went to Ho­bart for a con­fer­ence re­cently and learned about us­ing art and mu­sic to en­gage peo­ple, and I thought, you know what, I’m not artis­tic but I reckon we could do some­thing in that kind of for­mat,” she told

The Long Ta­ble Weav­ing event saw hun­dreds of lo­cals turn out to ex­er­cise their artis­tic abil­i­ties to cre­ate The Welling­ton Story.

“We gave up count­ing about 10am and there were al­ready around 70 peo­ple that had stopped and ac­tu­ally wove, but there were more who were just Many lo­cals tried their hands at weav­ing be­fore the fin­ished work was hung in the win­dows of the Western Stores build­ing. PHO­TOS: SUPPLIED

stand­ing by and look­ing and tak­ing note of the men­tal health re­sources that are avail­able, so it was just in­cred­i­bly suc­cess­ful and so much fun,” Ms Montgomery said.

“Not one thing wo­ven into the mas­ter­piece was brand new, it was all up-cy­cled and it was all from Welling­ton and sur­round­ing ar­eas. We had farm­ers who brought in bal­ing twine, we had rib­bon, rope, reeds and grasses, all sourced from the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment.”

One fam­ily even wove in pieces of their mother’s wed­ding veil.

Each at­tendee went home with a men­tal health re­source kit full of valu­able in­for­ma­tion

on ser­vices to ac­cess when well­be­ing suf­fers.

QOE project co­or­di­na­tor, Sam Robb, who is also a drover and stock­man, said stick­ing to­gether dur­ing tough times is key.

“It is much eas­ier to iden­tify path­ways to sup­port and well­be­ing when you are feel­ing at your best, rather than wait un­til your­self, or some­one else you know, is strug­gling,” Mr Robb said.

“Let­ting peo­ple know where they can get help from is a big part of our work, the other part is help­ing peo­ple to un­der­stand that ask­ing for help is OK.”

The Welling­ton Story weaves will be dis­played in the Western Stores shop win­dow in the town’s main street as part of the ‘Buy Lo­cal or Bye Lo­cal’ ini­tia­tive, which also co­in­cides with Oc­to­ber be­ing Na­tional Men­tal Health Month.

The QOE Health team are hold­ing their next Well­be­ing Long Ta­ble Weave in Coon­abarabran on Oc­to­ber 26.

24/7 help is avail­able, in­clud­ing:

Life­line 13 11 14 be­yond­blue 1300 22 4636

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