Well there is some exciting news this week. It is Mental Health Awareness Month here on the Central coast and they hold an annual art exhibition to celebrate this. There are several prize categories awarded to different recipients as there are many people in the community involved in the whole Mental Health side of things. The exciting news is that one of my students won an award  for her entry in the ‘Wisdom of Ageing’ category.  CONGRATULATIONS Brenda!!! Brenda received $300 in prize money for her entry.

Mental Health art award

Brenda Wortley receiving her award

In fact 60% of our families in this region will be affected at some time by the effects of mental health issues. Sadly my family is also a part of that statistic.  This is a huge problem in our community and ranges from drug and alcohol abuse to depression and other mental illnesses. It would seem that there has been an exponential rise in mental health issues as we see pressures both social and financial affecting more and more of our families and the sad fact is that our young people are not immune either.
The number of young people self harming, being put on medication and youth suicides is alarming to say the least.

Mental Health Awareness week is an attempt to bring these issues into the light of day, celebrate the survivors, to encourage and support them and to open discussion within the community.

The often unsung heroes in these dramas are the family members who end up caring for their loved ones suffering from mental illness.  This is an often challenging and thankless task.  It drives partners apart and leaves grandparents often picking up the shattered pieces of their children’s and grandchildren’s lives. On the Central Coast alone there are more than 6000 grandparents raising one or more of their grandchildren – this is my story too.

Below is Brenda’s prize-winning entry and she rang me yesterday to say that it looks as though she has also sold it!!  How exciting!!

mental health Gift No.1

Gift No.1

This week’s question:  How can painting help us work though our challenges in life?

Look For Thursday’s Post:  James Watt – creator extraordinaire….

Next Monday’s Post: Mindset – what is yours?

Posted By: Kadira Jennings

Tagged with: