Art Project helps tackle post natal depression on Victoria’s Surf Coast
Spring Creek Community House has recently been recognised for its work in addressing and promoting the issues that confront women with the centre receiving a Local Government Women’s Charter special commendation.
Spring Creek Community House co-ordinator, Laura Connor, says Torquay is one of the fastest growing regions in the nation and because of this there are particular issues that women face – issues of isolation, child-rearing, financial management and personal development.
“Helping women to address their concerns and become strong self confident people who are connected to their community is part of our role,” says Laura.
One in five women across the country will suffer from post natal depression, so when there was a growing number of mothers coming with feelings of depression, isolation and anxiety the House decided to tackle the problem with a self-help group.
Surfboard art project
Eight women came together through a 10 week arts project in which they produced a range of poetry and illustrations inscribed on a surfboard.
Torquay mother, Di Holyrod, and personal development tutor Jan Cheatly, helped develop the project and in so doing helped the women tackle and overcome post-natal depression.
The artwork records the feelings and hopes of these women who have each experienced post-natal depression. Through this process the women developed friendships and could discuss and gain support and strength from one another about an issue that still carries significant stigma.
The surfboard represents a connection with the sea. Some of women expressed feelings of sliding into the cold dark depths of the ocean when they were hit with post natal depression. Others felt for their surfer partners who also had to deal with the implications of the depression.
The artwork will be on display at the Shire Community Houses, Torquay Council Offices and SurfWorld next year.
A new website, www.surfcoastcommunity.com.au has been set up and will soon launch a post-natal depression helpline.
For more info:
T: Spring Creek Community House – 5261 2583