GALLERY: Mental health gets a lunch lift
A COLLABORATION headed by Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours paved the way for Gladstone residents to learn more about mental health yesterday.
The organisation teamed with Art Matters @ Creative Gladstone to present art and lunch at its new Inclusion Centre as part of Queensland Mental Health Week.
Executive officer of WIN, Natalia Muszkat said it was an opportunity to collaborate with other community organisations to build awareness surrounding mental health.
"We're trying to bring together more awareness to people about mental health, especially people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds," she said.
"We're trying to encourage them to look after their mental health and give them support in relation to the challenges they face when they move to a new country or region.
"We received a grant to pay for the lunch and some resources, and we are engaging other not for profit organisations - for example to run the art activities."
The lunch featured a number of activities for families, with informal presentations, art and musical activities for children.
It also provided an opportunity for attendees to speak to other organisations for information about resources and services available in the Gladstone Region.
Project Lead at Bridges Health and Community Care, Shannara Emmerton said it was important to break down the barriers and stigma surrounding mental health.
"It's important that everybody understands what mental health is, how to look after their mental health and how to look after themselves so that their mental health is improved," she said.
"With mental health, it is not just aimed at one culture or one socio-economic background, it can hit anyone at any time.
"We see people from all different sorts of backgrounds, lives and relationships who need assistance sometimes, and that's OK."
The volunteers from Art Matters were pleased to be part of the event.
"We're running art sessions getting people to look at mindfulness," volunteer Sharon Schmidt said.
"The terminology of Art Matters means it's important to yourself as well as across the community, and everybody enjoys and can do art.
"It can be really cathartic and can build self-awareness."