The current drought has increased mental health pressures facing rural Australians – and a series of workshops coming up around the Riverina offers an innovative solution for relieving stress: writing.
“Writing is a proven strategy for good health,” said workshop presenter, author and journalist Stephanie Dale. “It’s an incredibly powerful tool for clarifying thoughts and solving problems.”
Five years ago Stephanie founded ‘The Write Road’, an award-winning mental health initiative that makes writing support available to rural and remote Australians. She said the workshops aimed to encourage people to ‘waste time’.
“Stressed people need rest and yet the more ‘busy’ people become the less likely they are to take time out,” she said.
“It’s incredible how many people would like to write and but fear they would be “wasting time”. It’s the most common reason people give for not writing.”
Stephanie said myriad studies showed writing could positively influence mental, physical and emotional health.
“Writing can change our attitudes in times of crisis, as well as help us manage pain, depression and stress,” she said.
“Writing doesn’t just make us feel better - hard evidence shows us that in every possible way it can make us better.”
Riverina Bluebell spokesperson and Gundagai author Freda Nicholls said the Creative Journaling workshops would give people an opportunity to take time out to learn tools, tips and techniques for using writing as a tool for wellbeing.
Creative Journaling workshops are open to all for gold coin donation. They will be held at:
West Wyalong Library 19 March – bookings 6979 0272
Griffith City Library 20 March – bookings 6962 8300
Coolamon Library 21 March – bookings 6927 2492.