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The Caring Together Art Journal Project

Mental health carers as partners in recovery

Video: I’m a carer. I don’t want to complain. I just want to be heard.

This video was updated to a fresh high quality format on 9 August 2016. To watch the video in full screen click on the arrows on the bottom right corner. Don’t forget to turn your volume on!

This is the video that really got the Caring Together Art Journal Project going.

In 2011 staff from the Austin Health Mental Health Services saw my artwork and commissioned a poster and slideshow for use in a statewide complaints management project. Since then the resources have been shared throughout Victorian mental health services at all levels and presented at conferences within Australia and overseas. The response from clinicians and carers alike has been very positive and, I believe, has been effective in starting a conversation which was beyond my highest hopes.

This video may be shown to groups through this website for non profit training and support purposes, as long as the Caring Together Art Journal Project is acknowledged. It may not be downloaded or copied for use elsewhere. If you would like to show it at a conference please ask first.

I really hope it makes a difference, and I would love to hear what you think.

Best wishes

Helen

Author & Illustrator: Helen Wilding – http://helenwildingart.com | Music: Michael Johnson – http://www.michaeljohnson.com.au

Comments on “I don’t want to complain”

We presented the ‘complaints presentation’ to the Governance Committee of the Ballarat Health Service Mental Health Service yesterday. The Committee were very impressed by the presentation and the message that it conveyed.

The Governance Committee of the Ballarat Health Service Mental Health Service has asked me to convey their sincere thanks to you for the presentation. The presentation provoked a lot of discussion, as a result I will be presenting the presentation to all of our teams (CAMHS, adult, aged, inpatient and residential) across the organisation.

I am looking forward to it as the message of the carer experience is so powerful. Thank you for the work you have done.

Email feedback received 24 June 2011 from Jackie Crowe, Family/Carer Consultant, Ballarat Health Services Psychiatric Services – shared with permission.

Used your powerpoint today – it worked fabulously and I let the carers see your website tour as well! They thought it was beautiful and thought provoking and very moving!! So so many comments and such an amazing discussion forum – we ran out of time and everyone wants more …

We played a little with mapping the impact of caring, the positives and negatives – we just let the conversation that flowed after looking at your website lead the discussion and we decided to start with ‘feelings’ and impact. It was so darn awesome!!! One of our carers took the lead in the ‘mapping’ and the coloured textas – it really was one of the best sessions we have done!!!

Can’t wait for you to come and give us some art journaling workshops – are there any easy to read books that you would recommend about art journaling? Thank you so much for letting us show and use some of your work!! You certainly are making a difference in the ‘caring’ world.

Feedback received via email 12 September 2012 from Area Coordinator, Family & Carer Mental Health Program, Broken Hill – shared with permission

I found out about your site yesterday and was privileged to watch the slide show. It was inspirational, emotional and triggered many ideas to improve my contact.  Thank-you for sharing and allowing me to learn.

Comment received 11 October 2012

I just watched your full length slideshow and I felt you were writing the experience through my own lived experience except my experience was with my daughter, bless you in the work you are doing to make sure the voice and experiences of carers is heard.

Comment received on “I don’t want to complain” 6 August 2013 

A great start to my day. Thanks for all the hard work Helen.

Comment received on “I don’t want to complain” 15 August 2016 

While we do not know each other personally I feel I certainly ‘get your world’ as a carer for my elderly mother with dementia…whilst the ages might be different, the symptoms and impacts so much of your extraordinary journey moves me so very much.

Thankyou for baring your soul, psyche and wounds & gifts for us all to feel more ourselves. I received this with permission from you and I have shown it now several times to our clinicians, carers, ward staff and again tomorrow to a group of clinicians doing a professional development day here at our campus.

Every time I show it (and I have watched it now myself at least 20 times) I am moved to tears along with those who watch it and, for me, that is its power – to teach through the heart.

Thankyou again Helen …really no words will ever be able to fully express the gratitude, honor and respect I have for you, your journey and this great work you created and share.

Comment received on “Testimonials” about the complaints management video, 8 May 2012

The DVD is beautiful, sad and incredibly spot on

Comment received on “I don’t want to complain” 19 February 2014

Very powerful slideshow, images are incredible and it comes from the heart of a thoughtful caring person. Great resource for use with carers and also health professionals.

Comment received on “I don’t want to complain” 25 May 2012

Good morning. I am so blown away by your beautiful art work and thoughts. I too am a carer. At present I am working as a Project Coordinator of a Program in NSW Mental  Health which promotes carer participation; the development of strategies, resources etc and educating mental health clinicians regarding issues for carers and to ensure they are included in all aspects of the consumer’s journey.

I have used your slideshow (with permission) when educating staff just recently. It is so meaningful and says so much in such a short time. To date, everyone is really impressed with the slideshow.

I think your idea for a “carer’s plan” is brilliant. As you and I know, all care plans are for the consumer – everything is focused on the consumer and carers are often overlooked. So any ideas on how to actually assist/support carers is very much welcomed. With your permission, I would like to take this idea of a carer’s plan and develop it for the Program.

And I absolutely loved the Lighthouse. I have used this to help myself. So thank you so much.

Comment received  on “Asking for a Plan” 12 June 2012

Just wanted to give you some feedback regarding the in-service I ran on the ‘carer perspective’ last week where I utilised your slideshow and conversation starters (blame & too embarrassed to ask). Firstly, the slideshow got a very positive response.

All OTs found this to be a very powerful and moving slideshow which they thought would be very helpful for other MH clinicians and Dr’s to see. One suggestion was to slow the slideshow down as some felt that they didn’t have enough time to read/look at the artwork.

After the in-service, everyone (there was only 4 at the in-service) was interested in going to your website and becoming a member. They also were able to identify ways that they could become more family-sensitive/inclusive in their practice. So I believe overall that your resources were really useful in hopefully making some positive changes in the way that clinicians work with and understand carers.

Email feedback received 6 June 2013 from mental health practitioner – shared with permission

This is a wonderful slideshow. Gets the message across in a very positive way. Thank you so much for doing this.

Comment received on “I don’t want to complain” 11 October 2011

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