MENTAL Health Week may still be a few months away, but for students at Koorana Primary School preparations have already begun.
During art class, students have been talking about mental illness as well as making and decorating masks, which will form the centrepiece of an exhibition at the Rockingham Arts Centre held by Friends of the Rockingham Arts Community (FoRAC).
With more than 200 masks the goal and several classes involved, the exhibition is starting to gather steam.
Local artist Bec Thomas initiated the Let’s Face It project after her own struggles with mental illness, and now wants to help educate and inform others.
“It’s getting people to face that mental illness is prevalent in our society and not just to sweep it under the rug,” she said.
“I have borderline personality disorder so it’s been a really long and hard journey for me to be able to get to the point where I am able to leave my house again.
“Basically now for me it’s about doing things to raise awareness for mental health and helping other people with mental health issues to become involved in the community and not shutting it away… I want to do everything I can to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Koorana Primary School principal Margaret Gold said the project was an important one for the school to be part of.
“We try to cater for the whole child and with Sue (Roach, KPS art teacher) using art as a medium to harness what their feelings and emotions are really helps the kids identify their emotions and feelings and gives some common language to it,” she said.
“It’s not just for the kids but for the parents and families as well to identify some of those things and not put a stigma around it.”