Art competition helps raise mental health awareness

Published on 15 October 2018

Residents and students have used art and literature to help raise awareness of mental health through the Loddon Healthy Minds Network annual art competition.

Thirty-four entries were received for this year’s competition, which was open to Loddon Shire residents aged 14 years and above. The competition included two sections – a schools section for students aged 14 to 18 years and an open section for all Loddon residents. The two themes for the competition were “Stop Mental Health Stigma” and “Words for Wellbeing”.

This year’s Best In Show winner was Anne-Maree Hansen with her artwork R U OK? (stop bullying). Anne-Maree’s artwork also received the first and second prize in the competition’s open section.

In her description of her artwork, Ms Hansen wrote: “Not everyone fits in, but everyone should feel safe and free to play without being picked on, laughed at, made fun of.  Being kind to someone makes everyone feel better.”

Sophie Perryman from Boort District School won the Best In Show (Schools).  

Other winners included Rebecca Barsdell (Boort District School first prize), Amy Malone (Boort District School second prize), Lizzie Newell (Pyramid Hill College first prize) and Isabelle Caspani (Pyramid Hill College second prize). Janet Launder was awarded the first prize for Wedderburn College with Genevieve Tonkin receiving the second prize.

This year’s competition also included its first literary entry which was submitted by Wedderburn College Student Alexis Timu.

Mayor Cheryl McKinnon congratulated the competition winners and thanked all the participants for their efforts.

“The Loddon Healthy Minds Network art competition provides an important and creative means to bring attention to the issue of mental health,” Cr McKinnon said.

“I’d like to thank all those who submitted their works for this year’s competition and congratulate the winners.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the Loddon Healthy Minds Network, which continues to build awareness, advocate and provide education regarding mental health and mental health support in our region.” 

Loddon Healthy Minds Network Chair Cr Colleen Condliffe also thanked participants for taking the time to submit artwork for the competition.

“Through art and literature, this yearly competition provides a platform to explore different ways to raise awareness of mental health issues and help reduce the stigma associated with mental health,” Cr Condliffe said.

“This year’s art competition once again saw high-quality entries, and I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to provide their artwork for the competition, and congratulate our winners.”