LIVIN is partnering up with Robina Town Shopping Centre to raise awareness and break the stigma surrounding mental health conditions with a special pop-up photographic exhibition called Collective Minds.
The Collective Minds exhibition, which opened in the shopping centre yesterday to coincide with R U OK? Day, runs until Sunday October 13.
The unique photographs featured in the Collective Minds exhibition were done by both professional and amateur photographers, who all gave their interpretation on mental health.
All pieces in the exhibition are up for silent auction, and bidding is done online through the Collective Minds website.
Winners of the silent auction will receive their chosen work framed and professionally printed.
One hundred per cent of money raised in the auction will go towards LIVIN and LIVINWELL education programs.
LIVIN is a charity that looks to break the stigma surrounding mental health conditions through education and community programs.
“Mental health” is used as a blanket term for many conditions, including depression and anxiety, as well as a range of other disorders.
LIVIN co-founder and co-CEO Casey Lyons said art was a great way to generate a talking point about mental health issues.
“Mental health doesn’t have a face,” Mr Lyons said.
“The way mental health is being artistically represented through these images is just a wonderful way to help open up the conversation,” he said.
It is estimated that mental health conditions will affect roughly 45 per cent of Australians in their lifetime.
Mr Lyons said it was important people understood that mental health conditions and suicide were complex issues.
“In school we learn about sex education and we learn a little bit about physical education, but we’ve never learnt anything about mental health,” he said.
“If we can start doing that in many different ways and subtle ways, it just becomes a part of everyday conversation.”
“We normalise that conversation around mental health and hopefully more people feel comfortable in seeking help.”
Mr Lyons said the Collective Minds exhibition was something that had been needed for some time.
“Slowly as a country and a culture we’re getting better, [we’ve] still got a long way to go, but with initiatives like this it’ll help pull us in the right direction,” he said.
Mr Lyons said the charity wanted to stay involved in the local community.
“The Gold Coast is home and we just want to try and get in front of the community and bring the community together as much as possible,” he said.
“What better way than to talk about mental health and educate people to live a longer and happier life?”
Robina Town Centre marketing manager Ashlee Hume said support from artists and the community had been “overwhelming”.
“Photographers, suppliers and businesses have all donated their time, talent and services to ignite a conversation around mental health and what that means for the people of the Gold Coast,” Ms Hume said.
“Art can inspire us to look at things differently and we hope, through this special collaboration with LIVIN, we will challenge attitudes and shake up preconceptions around mental illness in our community,” she said.
Ms Hume said she hoped the shopping centre’s collaboration with LIVIN continued over the coming years.
“It’s a perfect fit for us being a Gold Coast based centre and LIVIN being a Gold Coast based charity,” she said.
LIVIN will also be delivering a LIVINWELL education program talk at Robina’s Event Cinemas on Wednesday September 25.
You can learn more about the pieces in the Collective Minds exhibition at www.collectiveminds.com.au.
For more information about LIVIN, visit https://livin.org.
If you or anyone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.