Action models speak louder than words

Scott Harvey with some of the tools he uses in place of books.  Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d444710
Scott Harvey with some of the tools he uses in place of books. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d444710

HEATHRIDGE resident Scott Harvey designs visual tools to help people experiencing mental health and reading difficulties.

Diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of six and having mental health troubles himself, Mr Harvey knows only too well that it could take more than a book to get to the core of an issue.

The Rocky Bay employment co-ordinator, who holds wellbeing groups in Joondalup, Mirrabooka and Midland, wants to share designs he’s created after 20 years in the disability and mental health sector.

“I’ve had dyslexia all my life and people have always said ‘take this book and it will empower you’ and it doesn’t,” he said.

“My goal is to empower people through vision. All of my models I’ve been making are tools to give people a hands-on approach and I’ve done five so far.”

He said his first was called The Gravel Path and was like going on a “bushwalk” and helped people question different things in their lives.

“It’s got all of these different bits which take you to why have I got depression, how it affects my family, my barriers and it talks about suicide,” he said.

Another design is called Lost My Marbles where he has replaced the brain of models with marbles to spark conversation.

“It’s another tool to use instead of a book or instead of just talking because a lot of clients with mental health and disabilities can talk but you’re not breaking down that thought process,” he said. “When you talk you’re only talking about what you want to, but if you’ve got a marble that is a thought you can pull it out of them more.

“So they grab a marble and they’re asked to tell their thought and it could be ‘I had an argument with mum and she’s really upset me’.

“When they’ve sorted it out they put the marble in the jar because they can get rid of that thought.”

“It takes away the table, you put one of these in between and you’re sitting around it and it breaks down that ‘oh, you’re just another psychologist or social worker’ and it gives power to both the client and the professional.”

For more, email scott.harvey26@ hotmail.co.nz.