Music festival a platform for mental health message


Melanie Finlay-Collins will run a resilience course during a free music and family fun day in Fremantle. Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au   d451196
Melanie Finlay-Collins will run a resilience course during a free music and family fun day in Fremantle. Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au d451196

The free Music to Open Your Mind event brings together a number of musical acts, food and more than a dozen stalls from a range of mental health services.

Melanie Finlay-Collins, who runs Fun Friends, said she was looking forward to spreading the importance of resilience in children at the event.

“Fun Friends aims to promote resilience by using play-based techniques such as games, stories, role plays, drawing and songs to increase social and emotional skills, promote resilience, and prevent anxiety,” she said.

“Family friendly festivals like Music to Open Your Mind are rare so I jumped at the opportunity to be able to promote the Friends programs and at the same time a better understanding of the benefits of mental health to continue to try and remove the stigma around these issues.

“Events such as this that allow us to talk about mental health in a fun, family-friendly environment are so important.”

South Metropolitan Health Service psychiatrist Gordon Shymko said there had been significant cultural changes around mental health issues in the 10 years the event had run.

“There has been quite a decline in stigma around mental health in this time – and by educating people at events like this, people connect mental health with positive activities,” he said.

Music to Open Your Mind is at Kings Square on Sunday from noon to 4pm.