Faculty of Health

Art roadshow supporting positive rural mental health

Community members showcased their artistic talent and a positive approach to rural mental health, when The Rural Art Roadshow 2016 opened in the state’s North, in George Town.

A collaboration between mental health service Wellways and the University of Tasmania’s Centre for Rural Health, the exhibition aims to build resilience, reduce stigma and promote a positive image of mental health in rural Tasmania.

Funded by the Centre for Rural Health, the exhibition tours six townships and showcases selected works from the Wellways, Minds Do Matter, ‘Mental Health Begins with Me’ exhibition. The exhibition was first held last year as part of the University’s 125th anniversary celebrations.

Centre for Rural Health Director Associate Professor Tony Barnett said the exhibition was a unique opportunity for community members to express their experiences through their art and connect with others.

“There was a wonderfully positive response last year,” he said.

“It was good exposure for the art and was really successful in providing a safe, relaxed and neutral environment for people to talk about their own issues or experiences of mental health.”

Associate Professor Barnett said the exhibitions were both therapeutic and celebratory.

“You can have a mental health problem or be exposed to a mental health issue, but isn’t it wonderful you can be creative and share that experience with others through art and talking to each other?”

The exhibitions are held in a variety of community venues including cafés, galleries and neighbourhood houses, making them easily accessible to the public.

The Rural Art Roadshow 2016 can be seen at one of the three Northern exhibition venues at:

George Town Bass and Flinders Centre until 20 November;

Scottsdale Art Gallery Café 22 November-27 November (opening night 22 November);

Fingal Neighbourhood House 29 November-11 December (opening night 30 November).

Elsewhere in the state the exhibitions can also be seen at the Dunalley Neighbourhood House until 17 November and at Time Out on Emmett café at Smithton until 7 December.

For more information contact the University’s Centre for Rural Health or call 6324 4009.