A Flourish Australia art workshop held in town last Wednesday was well received with a group of 25 locals enjoying learning about art in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
The workshop was held at the Cobar Bowling & Golf Club with participants guided in drawing and painting activities by Flourish’s arts coordinator Jane Miller from Sydney.
The group also began work on a communal mural which they hope to enter in this year’s Festival of the Miner’s Ghost art exhibition.
The three and half hour session was free for participants and included lunch and morning and afternoon teas.
Lydon McIntyre, a mental health peer worker with Flourish Australia, said they plan to hold art workshops every three months.
“This is primarily a community event for all folk in Cobar, and there are no targeted mental health discussions,” Mr McIntyre said.
He said the purpose of the sessions is for people to feel connected within their community and to feel happy.
“Art helps with a person’s well being,” Mr McIntyre said.
“If people do want to talk about any mental health problems they are experiencing then of course we would sit with them and listen.
“We don’t do any counselling but we are here to support and help them if they need it.”
“The only criteria people need to attend these sessions is that they need to drink tea and bring a smile with them,” Mr McIntyre said.
He said research shows that 20 per cent of the population suffers from a mental illness.
“That’s one in five people.
“Seven people die from suicide each day in Australia; that’s twice the total of vehicle fatalities,” Mr McIntyre said.
Having suffered from depression in the past, Mr McIntyre said he was now dedicated to supporting others with mental illness.