Telling stories through art, music, movement and writing are proving useful in alleviating some of the stress of mental illness.

This is the aim of Brisbane South Partners in Recovery, which is working with Griffith’s School of Human Services and Social Work on Your Story Matters, a powerful storytelling project involving consumers, carers and family members involved with the Partners in Recovery (PIR) program.

The PIR program supports people with severe and persistent mental health issues, along with their carers and families. It facilitates multiple support services to address their complex care needs and improve their wellbeing.

Your Story participants are encouraged to tell their story through a range of creative processes including art, music, movement and writing.
Speaking during this week’s Mental Health Week (Sunday 4 to Saturday 10 October) Griffith project lead, Victoria Stewart said that art-based practices in mental health care have been found to support social and psychological recovery, strengthening self-esteem and self-worth and facilitating social connections.

“We have used a number of methods to engage people in this project and to support them to tell their story. It is our hope that we can contribute to reducing the stigma of mental illness by sharing these stories and art projects,” Mrs Stewart said.

Participants of the creative workshops agree.

“Using creative processes gives you the chance to explore and tell your story your own way and having this control can be really healing,” one participant said.
The Brisbane South PHN has partnered with ten community-based organisations specialising in supporting program participants to achieve their goals and making positive change in their lives.

Brisbane South PHN CEO, Simon James, said the PIR program assists participants, carers and family members to feel less isolated.
“Partners in Recovery is about ensuring people have access to the care and support they need.
“The program links health and community services across our region to deliver more collaborative, coordinated and integrated support for people living with mental illness and their families.

“This joint project with Griffith University provides a space for those who are on the recovery journey to communicate their experiences to a wider audience and further reduce the stigma of mental illness.”
You can see examples of the Your Story Matters project during Mental Health Week at:
Thrive by the Bay Sanity Fair
10 October 8 October from
10am — 2pm 10am — 3pm
Raby Bay Harbour Park Musgrave Park, South Brisbane