Member for Wagin Terry Waldron MLA has commended two Wagin residents who are shining the spotlight on mental health this month, in time for Mental Health Week.
Mr Waldron recently credited local artists Megan Henry and Melanie English for bringing the realities of mental illness to the fore through their upcoming collaborative art exhibition.
“Congratulations to Megan and Melanie for bringing awareness to mental health wellness through creativity and art. I would also like to acknowledge their efforts in bringing public attention to this very important health issue,” he said.
The Act-Belong-Commit Can You See My Mind? art exhibition, which opens on Saturday, is the culmination of hard work by artist and author Mrs Henry and Mrs English, who is a professional photographer.
The event will be officially opened by WA Australian of the Year 2015 Neuroscientist Professor Lyn Beazley and will run during Mental Health Week (9-15 October).
Mr Waldron said the two Wagin residents had portrayed the feelings and emotions involved with living with a mental illness through a series of photographs and mixed medium artwork.
“Megan and Melanie are using their creative skills to highlight the pain and suffering people with these health conditions go through, often behind closed doors and hidden even from those closest to them,” he said.
Both the mixed media art and photography exhibited in the collections were specifically created from mental health questionnaires sourced from and completed by volunteers currently living with or having lived through a mental health condition.
Research shows that each year one in five Australians experiences a mental health condition.
Nationals WA candidate for Roe Peter Rundle said he believed the exhibition would provide a safe environment for people to share their thoughts.
“These types of things are not easy to talk about and this will allow people the opportunity to speak candidly about their struggles. Speaking with others who understand can make a difference to someone’s wellbeing,” Mr Rundle said.
The exhibition was also scheduled into art programs at Wagin District High School, Narrogin Senior High School and Katanning TAFE in Term 2, this year.
The Act-Belong-Commit exhibition runs in Wagin till 21 October, 2016 and will then visit Albany, Katanning, Williams, Fremantle and Narrogin from November 2016-April 2017. It is a non-profit event funded by Healthway, promoted by Mentally Healthy WA, supported by the Shire of Wagin and presented by the local mental health advocates/artists.