Raising awareness of women’s mental health

Hazel Ray is one of the featured performers at Her Story 2024. (Supplied)

Matt Hewson

Women across the region will have the chance both to hear the stories of other women’s mental health journeys and support a meaningful cause when local not-for-profit organisation Art of the Minds presents Her Story 2024 at Mount Duneed Estate next weekend.

Now in its third year, Her Story will be held on Sunday, May 26, with all proceeds going toward Foundation 61’s new women’s rehabilitation facility the House of Hope.

The event will feature keynote speaker Justine Martin, talented local musicians Hazel Ray and Grace Terpstra and last year’s Art of the Minds Song Contest winner Elizabeth Riordan.

Hazel Ray’s return to her passion of music making, after a hiatus of more than a decade spent studying behavioural neuroscience and teaching in secondary schools, played a significant part in the story of her mental health.

She said sharing her music and story at the event represents a chance to help others feel seen and connected.

“I think there’s a real power in authenticity and vulnerability,” she said.

“And I think that by sharing our stories that it might allow other people to feel they have the courage to speak up about their own experiences or just feel understood and seen by someone else. That it’s okay, these things do happen and we can have a life after them.”

Art of the Minds vice president Sarah Molnar said Her Story was her personal favourite on the organisation’s events calendar.

“You can see the shift in the audience; people really drop in when they hear someone sharing their vulnerable moments,” Ms Molnar said.

“There’s storytelling and hearing some incredible musicians, but it’s also an opportunity to meet people within the community. You can chat as much as you want, you can take a step back, there is no judgement… it’s a very safe space.”

Visit www.artoftheminds.org.au for more information on Her Story.