October 2014 archive


Karen Barrett 010

A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to have family photos taken by the gorgeous Kirsten from Little Rascals Photography – if you are in the Newcastle area and are looking for a great family photographer look no further – I can highly recommend her.

A professional photo session is a bit of a luxury for a family on a budget but I am so, so glad we signed up. I take photos of Sweet Pea on a daily basis – a lot of photos – and some of them are great – they capture her personality, her energy and her spirit, and some of them are not so great… They are usually quick snaps taken on my phone with not a lot of thought, or time, for settings and light or getting the “best” angle – I just point and shoot and hope for the best!

Sweet Pea was definitely herself at our photo shoot with Kirsten – she ran and jumped and did roly poly’s. She giggled and chattered and refused to do what was asked of her – all true to form and some of the traits I love so much about her. What I didn’t expect her to be was still. And she wasn’t. Except for this one moment which Kirsten captured and the light fell across her and around her and she just looked straight into the camera and was still. Just for a moment. And then she was off again.

There are so many beautiful shots of us and our girl from that afternoon but this one is my favourite – my baby just being. Still.


Mental Space


It’s Mental Health Week at the moment – a week dedicated to raising awareness of mental health and illness in our community, raising much needed money for services and resources and helping to beat down the stigma that people with a mental illness, and their friends and family, struggle with on a daily basis.

As a social worker working in a community mental health team this is an important week for me professionally and personally. I wrote a post over at Ellie’s blog, An Emergent Life, this week in which I talked about how the work I do as a community mental health professional can easily be adopted by anyone wanting to support someone they love who is experiencing a mental illness – please pop on over and have a look.

I have also been watching in awe at the ABC’s Mental As programming schedule this week – so many fantastic programs and viewpoints from all over our community looking at what mental health, and illness, means for them. The show “Changing Minds” has been particularly powerful. Changing Minds is a 3 part documentary series filmed inside Liverpool Hospital’s mental health unit with staff, clients and family members. The rawness of the program is evident in every scene. I highly recommend tuning in.

I also took the opportunity to make a promise to myself (see photo above!). It might sound like a simple one but it is one that I often forget to follow through with – asking for help when I need it, when I feel like I’m going under and things are getting on top of me. My normal procedure is to just keep on keeping on – and we all know where that eventually leads – nowhere fun! Why don’t you pop on over and make your own promise…

There are many events around to educate on and celebrate mental health this week. Tomorrow, Friday 10th October is Hat Day, “the fun-draising day where you wear a hat and make a donation to help shine a light on mental illness in Australia”. I’m not really a hat person myself – I just can’t ever seem to find one that fits my big head right, but I think it is another fun way to bring attention to a wonderful cause.

What about you? Are you doing something special for Mental Health Week?