HEADSPACE Bendigo is celebrating young people and mental health and well-being with festivities in the heart of the city.
Activity stations have been set up in the Bendigo library gardens to encourage people to adopt habits to help maintain a positive head space.
A table of bottled water serves as encouragement for people to, ‘lose their fog, lay off the grog’.
Headspace staffers have set up an area perfect for chatting to convey the message to ‘swap Snaps for chats’.
Fruit bowls and other healthy goods will help people ‘get a taste for the good stuff’. And there’s an area dedicated to getting active.
Creative pursuits such as music, singing and the arts have their own station. And there are blankets, pillows and beanbags to emphasise the importance of rest.
A giant colouring in exercise dominates one of the stations.
Headspace Bendigo community engagement officer Haylee Kennedy said people would be able to contribute to the artwork, which will be displayed in the headspace centre in Pall Mall once completed.
Mindful colouring books are also available from headspace.
Mrs Kennedy said headspace centres nationwide were celebrating the day, which acknowledges the resilience of young people and raises awareness of the supports available within the region for when life seems tough.
“It’s about young people coming together and sharing their experiences and resources they’ve used,” she said.
One in four young people in Australia experience mental health issues, according to headspace.
The Rotary Club of Bendigo South is supporting the event with a barbecue.
If you, or someone you know is aged 12-25 and going through a tough time you can find your nearest headspace centre at headspace.org.au or talk to someone online at eheadspace.org.au.
To contact headspace Bendigo directly, call 5434 5345.
The art of communication
LOOK over to the side of the gardens closest to the Bendigo Library this afternoon and you’ll see Michellie Charvat and her easel.
The La Trobe University Bendigo campus creative arts student is doing a live painting demonstration as part of the headspace day activities.
She will also be opening a youth art competition inside the library this evening.
Young central Victorians, between the ages of 12 – 25 years, have contributed more than 20 pieces to the exhibition.
In addition to the Welcome to Country at the launch this evening, Ms Charvat will be assisting with the judging process.
“I like to be a positive influence,” the 18-year-old said.
She intends to explain what she liked about the artworks, based on the knowledge she has acquired during her studies and during her own practice.
“I’ve been part of the art community in Bendigo for a few years now,” Ms Charvat said.
Studying visual art during VCE marked a transition from a hobby into a more serious pursuit.
“I had been a huge fan of art all my life,” Ms Charvat said.
She said the act of creating art was therapeutic, for her.
“Your mind is only focused on the artwork,” Ms Charvat said.
On the occasions when her mind wandered, she said it was about sorting out emotions and feelings: “It’s a process of working yourself out”.
For Ms Charvat, art is a mode of self-expression. It enables her to communicate what she’s thinking without having to say it.
She said events like headspace Day provided young people in central Victoria with an opportunity to step out of their comfort zones and be part of something bigger.
“It’s the awareness of it all, letting the rest of the world know headspace is there,” Ms Charvat said.
The youth art competition launches at 5.30pm this evening at the Bendigo Library.
Artworks will be on display for two weeks.
Service club supporting mental health
THE Rotary Club of Bendigo South is aiming to raise $2500 each for headspace Bendigo and Lifeline Central Victoria and Mallee.
Supporting causes that promote the community’s mental health has been the club’s goal since the start of the financial year.
It has since contributed a reconditioned walking machine to Bendigo Health’s psychiatric services, club president Rod Spitty said.
Fundraising activities are ongoing, including today’s barbecue in support of headspace Day in Bendigo.
The club is also running a raffle, which Mr Spitty expected to generate the majority of the funds for headspace and Lifeline.
Expect to see raffle ticket books at the Bendigo Marketplace and in IGA stores in Bendigo.
Mr Spitty said the raffle would be drawn on December 20, giving the winner $3000 worth of bikes just before Christmas.
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