As part of the ‘Love Your Life: Arts, Health & Well-being Program’, Western NSW Local Health District’s Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol (MHDA) Service and its partners will host the first Love Your Life: Arts Symposium on Thursday, 17th October 2013, at the Western Plains Cultural Centre.
The ‘Love Your Life’ program aims to create positive outlets for people accessing the MHDA service. It promotes the recovery process by developing coping strategies, personal skills and the ability to socialise with different people.
Chairperson of the Love Your Life Committee, Yvonne Muyambi said the program targets individuals, the community and organisations, enhancing the environment in which MDHA services are delivered, to improve health outcomes for individuals and the community as a whole.
“With the Arts in Health Symposium we aim to bring together non-government organisations, service users, families, carers, community members, artists, NSW Health staff and potential funding bodies together to discuss the importance and proven benefits of art programs for both general and mental health, as well as the need for such programs in the Dubbo region.” Ms Muyambi said.
Evidence indicates that when MHDA service clients engage in creative activities it increases their motivation, as it gave them hope, inspiration, meaning and reduces inactivity. Art programs are a platform for participants to express themselves artistically. They provide a supportive environment that encourages participants to interact with one another; therefore improving their communication skills.
“The empowerment of people through their participation in community development programs such as this will enable them to work in partnership with organisations to increase their sense of control over issues affecting their lives” said Ms Muyambi.
The Love Your Life: Arts Symposiumwill be an all day event (9am – 4pm), proudly supported by NEAMI National and QANTASLINK. One lucky delegate also stands to win a return flight from Dubbo to Sydney courtesy of QANTASLINK.
Eight speakers have been invited to take part in the Symposium, all of whom have been successful in implementing arts in health programs in their communities. These are:
- Sally Francis (Keynote Speaker), Arts & Health Coordinator at Flinders Medical Centre, South Australia.
- Joanna Capon(Keynote Speaker), Chair of the Operation Art Management Committee and Honorary Curator at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
- Tracey Callinan & Christine McMillanfrom the Arts & Health Program in Bathurst;
- Meg Simpson & Brad Hammond who have been implementing the Arts & Health Strategy at the Orange Health Service;
- Graham Sattler, former Director of the Orange Regional Conservatorium and was actively involved in the Symptomatics choir.
- Jack Randell, a local Dubbo Artist who has been working with Juvenile Justice to create projects that target disadvantaged youth.
Places are limited – anyone wanting to attend and participate in the Symposium is invited to register their interest by contacting Yvonne Muyambi on (02) 6881-4161 or (02) 6881-4181, by Tuesday 15th October.
A brief media opportunity exists for interviews, photographs and filming during a break in the schedule at 10:15am, 17th October 2013, in the auditorium ofthe Western Plains Cultural Centre.
For further information, or to confirm your attendance at the media opportunity, please contact Media Manager Vanessa Delaney on 0417-511-738.