Full steam ahead for mental health

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Able (Southern Family Support) Charitable Trust staff (back, from left) Sandy Dawson, Ezra Jeffery, Kaylene Barbour, Erin Parkes and Julie Pahl; (front) Rachel Roberts, Chantelle Westrupp and Ngaiwa McCallum. Photo: Supplied

UP to 60 people took part in a fun, steampunk-themed arts day last week in Invercargill.

Hosted by Able (Southern Family Support) Charitable Trust, the day was part of Mental Health Awareness for clients, staff and whanau, to get-together and socialise, Able Charitable Trust peer support worker Rachael Roberts said.

The theme of steampunk (Victoriana meets the industrial future) was suggested because they wanted people to step outside their comfort zones, she said.

Planning for the day began in February, but was delayed due to Covid-19 and the lockdown.

“We reopened in July… so it took time to organise and host the day.”

Family support fieldworker Ezra Jeffery said “it was meant to be held three months ago… so we eventually combined it with Christmas” celebrations.

Since the initial steampunk theme suggestion, the event had “morphed” with a variety of ideas including decorated hats and eight costumes/garments displayed, a steampunk-themed Christmas tree, static displays and a photo booth.

About half the event-goers also dressed in theme.

People brought or were dressed in a costume or a hat, or both, with some taking the steampunk theme to another level creating steampunk names and personas, including describing why they chose to create the persona, who they were and what inspired them. They also talked about the materials they used to create the outfits, Ms Roberts said.

Outfits were voted on by a People’s Choice with a first, second and third awarded in the hat section and the costume section.

The social event had proved popular, organisers said.

“It was nice to catch up and have everyone in the same room,” Mr Jeffery said.jordan release dateNike

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