Although some of us are getting too familiar with the four walls of our homes or still struggling with the impacts of global events, making sure your mental health is supported is important now more than ever. We knew that this year's Mental Health Week had to make a big splash—albeit online, this time around—and with the help of Collarts' support staff, special guests, Zoom panels, livestreams and more, we had six days of jam-packed healthy vulnerability.
day one: real talk
Maybe you've lost your job or simply struggling to manage your money while at-home, but finance isn't exactly the creative industry's favourite conversation topic. That's why we opened the doors to an open dialogue by acknowledging this important stressor for our students, alumni, and even staff with our Finesse Your Finances blog featuring financial literacy resources and tips from Clinton Scott, our Career Pathways Advisor.
DAY TWO: doing nothing as self-care
During the COVID-19 crisis, there's been pressure to stay active or creative (see the 'Shakespeare wrote King Lear in quarantine' meme, for one), and to prioritise self-care in the forms of activity. What this attitude neglects is that taking time out can actually do wonders for your mental health too. On Day 2, we published our blog on The Benefits of Doing Absolutely Nothing with Wellbeing Practitioner Garret Teters, while students and alumni gained access to our mental wellbeing panel from O-Week and revealed what they do on their days off via Instagram.
DAY THREE: CAREER-READY
Day 3 was a big one: we wanted to equip our community with the skills and knowledge to better prepare for life after graduation, which can seem a lot more daunting in this climate. With the launch of our comprehensive Career-Ready Resource Page, students and alumni can find insightful information from our support staff and external sources to help them as they wade into the unknown. In commemoration of the launch, Clinton Scott, Luke O'Connor (Support Act), and Danielle Meenks (Interior Design alumni/mental health nurse) hopped onto Zoom for a Job-Readiness and Life After Study panel, moderated by Sandra Tan (DENFAIR).
To top it all off, Danielle shared her advice on the most common obstacles you'll face in the years after you leave university—like self-sabotage, burnout, rejection, and more—and how exactly you can handle these setbacks.
DAY FOUR: COLLARTS COUCH
One thing we realised after our hyped Online O-Week party was that we missed our community! That feeling of chatting in the student kitchen or meeting new creatives in the Atrium is a feeling we've sorely missed. To bring the casual, conversational vibe, we invited Music Production alumni Jerry Agbinya aka IJALE onto a Facebook livestream dubbed the Collarts Couch, chatting creative blocks, managing expectations, and collaborating during COVID. Ahead of the live event, he opened up about the behind-the-scenes of his debut EP Wildly Disparate Sounds in a Collarts interview here.
DAY FIVE: Rediscover your style
Hands up if you've been rocking the sweat pants for the entirety of your isolation! Sure, it's comfortable, but it can also unconsciously demotivate you. Why not experiment with your style—no cash required—so you can emerge from lockdown with a boosted self-esteem and a feeling of accomplishment? Fashion Marketing Coordinator Anna Hickey and Fashion & Sustainability Coordinator Sal Edwards had the perfect iso-fashion advice for Day 5 of Mental Health Week.
Day six: WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY
Closing out with World Mental Health Day, we encouraged everyone to take time and reach out to their loved ones, friends, and family. And while Mental Health Week is a great moment for self-reflection, it's important to remember that everyday is a chance to embrace vulnerability.