Rocking out in Timaru in the name of mental health

Last updated 10:03, October 8 2017

South Canterbury District Health Board staff Susie Brooking, left, Judy Wallace and Lloyd Wallace paint some pebbles ready for the rock hunt being held as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
A Timaru rock artist has spoken of her own issues around mental health in encouraging people to get outdoors this Mental Health Awareness Week.
This year's health theme is "Nature is Key", and in that vein artist Roselyn Fauth​ is helping to organise a rock hunt, to get people out into the open air.

Fauth​ set up the Timaru Rocks Facebook page in January as a way to share the benefits she gained from painting rocks after she had a baby.
"If I am really honest with myself I wasn't coping as well mentally as I had in the past, probably like a lot of new parents do, and I was missing my creative down time.
"Then I discovered the rock craze, started a Facebook group ... and the rest is history.
"The hiding and finding of rocks is a great way to get active outdoors for some family time, collecting rocks to paint, learning new painting techniques and creating little gifts for friends and strangers.
"I continue to be inspired by the feedback I get from 'rockers' about the positive effects it has had for them and their families ... connecting our community, ultimately to create a little bit of happiness."
Fauth said it wasn't just painting rocks that improved her mental health, but walking along the beach finding rocks to decorate, seeing changes in the environment, and having time to think.

Wellbeing and Vitality in Education (WAVE), a partnership between the South Canterbury District Health Board (SCDHB) and Community Public Health, was also supporting the week of events, its mental health promoter Anna Reihana said.
"Spending time with nature makes us feel happier and more optimistic, restores us when we're feeling run-down, reduces stress, and improves life satisfaction," Reihana said.

WAVE's calendar of events for Mental Health Awareness Week includes:

Mon, October 9: BBQ and Games in the Park, Timaru Botanic Gardens, 12-3pm
Tues, October 10: Engage with Nature Family day, Talbot Park gardens, Timaru, 11 - 2pm
Tues, October 10: Workplace lock out, in which businesses are encouraged to send staff outside to connect with nature, 12-1pm
Wed, October 11: Native planting at Arowhenua wetlands, Huirapa St, Temuka, 10.30 - 1pm

- Stuff