Tools speak louder than words

Rocky Bay employment coordinator Scott Harvey uses hands-on visual aids and models rather than books to help people with mental health difficulties.Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d444710
Rocky Bay employment coordinator Scott Harvey uses hands-on visual aids and models rather than books to help people with mental health difficulties.Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d444710

SCOTT Harvey is busy designing 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 Midland, Mirrabooka and Joondalup 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, in which 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.”

Others include The Boat Theory and Mr Harvey is now working on a concept called Are You You or Are You Your Disability?

He said he was also hoping to create something for people working away from home on the mines.

“I have a huge passion,” he said.

“It empowers so many people… and 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.