October is Mental Health Month. Let’s join together and create awareness about the importance of positive mental health through our creative and caring transpersonal therapy community.

This year’s theme “We all have a Role to Play” highlights our collective responsibility in supporting mental health and well-being. The organisation that coordinates the Mental Health Month, The Way Ahead has a starter pack and free resources to help you plan an event.

“Mental Health Month is a chance to promote activities and ideas that can have a positive impact on our daily lives and the lives of others.” The Way Ahead

It’s also National Multicultural Mental Health month, where the theme is “Celebrating Diversity, Healing Together”.

Whether it’s taking time to care for yourself, caring for someone close to you, educating yourself with your selection of professional development, informing and supporting your community to be more mental health aware, or being a mental health champion or ally.

In preparing for this mental health month, think about ways you can connect with the people around you; making our world more aware, more accepting and inclusive for people who are going through tough times and reducing the stigma of mental illness.

For art therapists and counsellors, this is an opportunity to raise awareness, promote our services and highlight the benefits of creative therapy on mental health.

The Power of Creative Therapy

Art therapy and Transpersonal Counselling offer unique, holistic, and effective approaches to improving mental health by focusing on our innate human capacity for self-healing, through creative expression, mindfulness and our person-centred approach.

Here are some ways to promote your services and underscore the advantages of creative and holistic therapy during Mental Health Month:

  1. Facilitate a Workshop around Wellbeing, Stress Management, Self Compassion, Mental Health Awareness or your niche topic

Utilise these workshops to weave some awareness raising and information together with creative self-awareness and art processes. Enable participants to experience the therapeutic benefits of creativity and mindfulness first hand. Use this as an opportunity to explain how our therapeutic approach can help individuals explore and express their emotions, reduce stress, and enhance self-awareness. You can also host a workshop to contribute to North Sydney Council’s Lost Bird Found Project, anywhere in Australia.

  1. Share A Resource

Create a free downloadable client resource or write a blog. Weaving education and information with anecdotes and examples can help connect with current and potential clients. Take this opportunity to illustrate the positive impact art therapy and counselling have on mental well-being. There are so many possibilities you can create a one page handout or a 10 page booklet. You’re only limited by your imagination and your time.

  1. Educational Webinars

Host a free or low-cost webinar or online event to talk about a mental health issue and how creative art therapy and/or transpersonal counselling can benefit. This may be an opportunity to upload the webinars to YouTube or your website to create a series of online resources.

  1. Social Media Campaign

Use your favourite social media platforms with a series of stories and examples. Create some eye-catching info-graphics, share informative posts, client testimonials, and even short videos showcasing the therapeutic process. Use relevant hashtags like #MentalHealthMonth to increase visibility.

  1. Collaborate with Local Organisations

Partner with other transpersonal therapists, allied health services, mental health providers, schools, or community centres to showcase your services. Working with others will likely amplify your reach and emphasise the importance of creative therapy in the broader mental health landscape.

Hosting an event at your workplace or a large organisation in your community may be a way of building connection and raising awareness.

  1. Offer Discounts or Special Promotions linked to Mental Health Month

Linking to the month-long event, consider offering discounts (for groups and workshops) or special promotions that may encourage individuals to take that crucial step toward seeking therapy.

  1. Host an Open-Day or Drop-in experience

If you have a studio or can rent a space in a community centre or an area that is publicly accessible, consider offering an Open Day or a drop-in art therapy experience. Have information about your services and availability to give to visitors and participants.

Hosting a Big Blue Table event to raise money for the Beyond Blue is one way to encourage participation. Offering an art therapy activity at a local library or shopping centre is another.

  1. Create a free month-long participatory project

Create a project for your local community that raises awareness about mental health. Some ideas for such projects are encouraging people to send postcards to isolated people in aged care or hospitals, leaving encouraging notes in random locations, designing a simple creative activity that may be undertaken in schools that raises awareness with children and their families. Check out my 30 Day Soulful Lens Mindful Photography in Nature Project and Mark and Movement’s 30 Day Post It Note Challenge 

  1. Hold an exhibition of your own or others art works that can be linked to a mental health awareness.

Create a body of work around an issue such as grief and loss or resilience and recovery. Sharing yours and others work builds a sense of understanding and increases an individual’s awareness, they are not alone.

  1. Share information about free and online resources from major mental health organisations.

Create a handout or a brochure or a webpage with links to relevant online resources, TED talks and videos that your clients will find helpful. I’ve compiled a list of some helpful sites for you as a professional and also for your clients.

Take advantage of Mental Health Month in October. Use this as an opportunity to demonstrate how art therapists and counsellors can play a crucial role in improving mental well-being. Drawing on this year’s theme, “We all have a role to play.” we can help instil the values that support mental health and wellbeing for us all.

 

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