Robz Davey shows off the Art and Soul exhibition at the Old Ipswich Courthouse, a result of a nine-week program.
Robz Davey shows off the Art and Soul exhibition at the Old Ipswich Courthouse, a result of a nine-week program. Rob Williams

Art soothes the soul

A PROJECT devised by an Ipswich mental health worker and a graphic artist has given people with mental health issues a valuable creative outlet.

The artworks produced by 11 participants over a nine-week program form the Art and Soul exhibition, which is on show at the Old Ipswich Courthouse until November 7.

The Strategic Mental Health Action Group initiative was implemented by Queensland Health mental health worker Denise Darnell and Augustine Heights artist Kristy Day.

Ms Day said she had not worked in the mental health industry before, but found the experience very rewarding.

"We were focused on creating a safe place without boundaries," Ms Day said.

"We used art as a healing tool."

Ms Day said the unique program had a positive outcome, and proved that art was a great preventive tool in mental health.

"I've had lots of feedback from people who know the participants, who have said they've never seen as profound and positive a change as this," Ms Day said.

One of the participants was Robz Davey, 26, who could not praise the program enough.

"It was such a release - if I was having a bad day, this would help me get through it," Ms Davey said.

The organisers are keen to continue the program next year.

Mental health

Indicators of depressive disorders include a persistently depressed mood and loss of interest in usual activities.

Treatments include therapy, discussion and nutritional supplements, with medication being used in severe cases.

If you feel you have depressive symptoms, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.



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