Up until the 1970's, mental illness was a largely taboo subject that was seldom discussed in public. Places like the high security Z Ward at Glenside Hospital were a symbol for how the medical profession treated severely ill people.
Security and high walls at institutions like Glenside Hospital were a physical barrier between mentally ill people and the community, allowing practices that we would consider highly undesirable today.
Many psychiatric hospital admissions were for childhood behavioural disorders, and even sexual deviancy (eg homosexuality) which was then treated with shock therapy. From the 1980's the barriers to the community have been progressively lowered, and we now treat mental illness much the same as any other illness. However young people with mental illness are still more likely to end up in a youth prison.
Enjoy Free Family Entertainment in Rundle Park at the Festival of Now
Organisations such as Mindshare and Beyond Blue now take an active role in fostering a dialogue between people with mental illness (and their families) and the wider community. Mental Health Week from October 4-10 aims to promote awareness of mental health and well-being, and Friday October 10 has been designated as World Mental Health Day.
The Festival of Now is about getting together with other people - having fun and experiences that make you feel energised, relaxed or engaged in the moment. It offers a time to set aside your troubles from the past and future worries, allowing time to discover and share ways of nurturing wellbeing and mental health.
On Friday October 10 come to Rundle Park at the corner of East Terrace and Rundle Rd in Adelaide and join in the activities and free things to do at the Festival of Now from 10.30am until 3.30pm.
Poets Geoff Goodfellow and Sandy Jeffs from Victoria will present the Mindshare Awards, be entertained by local musicians Craig Atkins, Colin Marshall and the Sisters of Invention, make some art or just relax and have lunch in the park among friends.
Watch Cooking Demonstrations by Celebrity Chef Simon Bryant
There will be family entertainment for people of all ages, live music entertainment, and tasty food. Celebrity chef Simon Bryant will also be holding cooking demonstrations - he's been at so many free events lately I hope he's managing to eat well himself!
Seriously though, Simon Bryant says "When you are having trouble dealing with everyday tasks, cooking can be overwhelming. But if you use food as a starting point for other activities it reminds you that ultimately you are caring for yourself."
With stalls promoting arts in health, healthy eating, and free performance, the Festival of Now is a positive event creating a wider understanding of mental health in the community. And the best part is that it's a free event.
Activities for kids include magicians and face painting, sun catcher making, Lolly Jar Circus, and special treat Animals Anonymous where kids can cuddle a furry, feathered or scaly animal.
From 1-2pm join the Walk for Wellbeing, a guided tour of the beautiful Botanic Gardens. Marvel at the majesty of the Bicentennial Conservatory (free to enter), wander the wetlands and appreciate their art installation, or be astonished at the hundred year old mushroom models in the museum. The Botanic Gardens Adelaide always make me feel pleased to be alive
Take a Walk for Wellbeing Through Botanic Gardens Adelaide
There will also be a sharing circle at Rundle Park - a small forum for people to discuss the ways in which their lives are lived in response to mental health and wellbeing issues. Find some food and join in - although finding food will not be a problem. Some of the finer food trucks in Adelaide will be around to appease your appetitie - Veggie Velo, La Cantina Co, Coffee Cow, and Bike and Blend will all be there. Diamond Clubhouse will be providing free meals also.
The Festival of Now is a fantastic free event which will be full of fun things to do and family entertainment. If you work in the city take a lazy long lunch and join us, other wise spend the day there with your children and join in the activities for kids.
For more information pop over to the Facebook page, and click "Yes" to join in the fun.
Nature Play helps your child to stay healthy by encouraging them to play outdoors more often.
Articulately (and sensitively) written with great insight... I enjoyed reading your promotion for the event Dave and including Simon Bryant's quote was very pertinent re: overcoming the weight of mental illness and caring for ourselves.