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Mental Health: What do you know?

Parent Infant Unit patient, Roisin, has found art therapy at the Institute beneficial and a great way to communicate how she's feeling.

"It's a great outlet - if you have some materials you can create some really beautiful things," she says.

Two of her artworks are featuring in an art exhibition at Austin in celebration of Mental Health week this week. 

Mental Health Week aims to educate and engage Victorians around mental health and this year's theme is: Mental Health: What do you know?

About 80 pieces of art work were submitted for The Austin Mental Health Week Lived Experience Art Exhibition, where participants were asked to create a piece of art and write down what they wanted the world to know about what it's like to live with a mental illness.

Roisin's art reflects her own personal journey as a new mum with clinical depression.

"I saw an old advert with a family of red heads and it resonated with me with the idealistic, happy mum," she says.

"I painted her and how she actually might be feeling."

Her second piece features a pencilled drawing of a woman with a written poem.

"I was thinking about my sister who lives in the UK when I drew this," she said.

"She had written this poem a long time ago - it's whimsical and shows the other side of having clinical depression and how fun life can be."

Parent Infant Unit and La Trobe University Art Therapy trainee, Amanda Florence, says it's an avenue for patients to communicate how they're feeling.

"Art therapy is a non interpretive expressive mode that can help with personal transformation, growth and insight," she says.

"It can help develop inner creative resources that can be continued on discharge."

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Austin Health acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
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