Using Art to Improve Mental Health
October 10 is World Mental Health Day – a day which aims to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around mental illness. Also, this month the Big Anxiety Festival is hosting over 40 events and art exhibitions across Sydney that aim to provoke discussion and empathy around mental health issues.
One of the exhibitions is a project called These Walls Could Talk, a collaboration between artist Cameron Cripps-Kennedy, poet Omar Sakr and students at Bradfield Senior College. The artwork sought to explore the experiences of young people living with stress and mental illness and features a series of poems written by the students. This exhibition is just one of the many ways art is being used to initiate conversations about mental health and as a way for those struggling with mental illness to express their emotions.
Kate Atkinson spoke to Bec Dean, the director of The Big Anxiety about the festival and how art can be used to improve mental well-being.