Rockingham: Out of the Blue to use arts to help residents affected by mental health issues


Bec Thomas Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d482094
Bec Thomas Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d482094

COOLOONGUP resident and mental health warrior Bec Thomas will aim to help those who have experienced or been affected by mental health issues through hosting free arts and crafts workshops over the next four months.

Rockingham residents who have experienced or been affected by mental health issues are eligible to participate in free workshops in ceramics, hand sewing, painting and short story writing, part of Thomas’ 2018 community project Out of the Blue.

Friends of Rockingham Arts Community (FORAC) chair, Thomas said all under the sea workshop creations would be exhibited at Rockingham Arts Centre during Mental Health week in October.

“This community project aims to involve people who have been affected by mental illness in a positive community atmosphere and promote the well being benefits of creativity when dealing with mental health issues,” she said.

The mother-of-two said she has lived with a mental health condition for more than 20 years.

“I have only in the past five years since moving to Rockingham been offered the right medication and therapy to allow me to manage my condition and live a productive life,” she said.

After receiving help with her mental health, Thomas started a ceramics studio in Rockingham and created not-for profit organisation FORAC to combine her passion of the arts and helping others.

“My passion is working with people with mental illness and involving them in the arts as a therapy and with others in the community,” she said.

Thomas said the workshops would highlight the importance of mental health.

“We received $7500 from the council for this project to fund these workshops over the next few months,” she said.

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