As part of the Wollongong Fringe Festival, the Wollongong City Council, APRA-AMCOS, Music NSW and Neami National teamed up with Yours and Owls to host a workshop that explored the relationship between music and mental health.
The Wollongong team banded together and brainstormed the most effective way they could contribute to the workshop. They discussed the relationship between music, mental health and recovery as well as developing a series of interactive activities.
The team developed a series of 20 minute sessions, touching on different forms of music and recovery ideas.
CRSW Sam Roberts ran a session using hand drums to explore wellness and becoming unwell, using different rhythmic techniques.
The team also presented a series of quotes from consumers discussing songs, how they help them, and played some excerpts from the songs.
Vicki Langan, Health and Wellbeing Manager, attended and spoke about Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and promoted MHFA training.
An ex-Neami staff member shared a lived experience healing song.
Craig Byrnes, Acting SPL at Wollongong, presented a video of Corey Taylor, the lead singer of Slipknot, discussing recent suicides in the music industry and addressing some of the myths around suicide – including that it is "cowardly". In the video Corey encourages people to have an empathetic view of suicide and depression.
Another session was a mindfulness exercise using hand drums to explore sound and being in the moment.
The Wollongong City Council and participants of the workshop provided glowing feedback – particularly about the team approach of Neami Wollongong. Everyone in the team helped to set up the space – turning off harsh florescent lighting and putting up fairy lights to create atmosphere. Sam Roberts reflected that "it was the first time we've done anything like that as a team".
30 people attended, including three Neami consumers.