Wellington locals weave together
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