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Mental health reflection space opens in Port Lincoln

Regional News

A newly built art installation on the Port Lincoln foreshore is providing space for remembrance and conversation about mental health.

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Located in front of the Boston Hotel on the Pt Lincoln foreshore, the reclaimed wood benches and mosaics were conceptualised by Mentally Fit EP community development officer Lain Montgomerie and brought to life by local artist Karen Carr.

The space, which will be officially opened in a ceremony tomorrow, gives the community a place they can go to remember loved ones and have conversations about mental health and suicide prevention.

Mongomerie said the location was chosen because, in addition to providing beautiful views of the ocean, it gives visitors and members of the community the opportunity to ‘stumble upon’ the spot rather than have it hidden away.

She said it is a visual reminder to the community that they are not alone.

The installation was funded by Country SA Primary Health Network, Wellbeing SA, the Eyre Peninsula Community Foundation, and Zoe Pratt and Cleanseas through the Tunarama Ambassador Quest.

The benches, made with timber from the Port Lincoln Wharf, are surrounded by mosaics in a ripple design signifying the ripple effect that suicide has on the community.

“Our community, and the surrounding towns, have been affected by suicide and when we live in such a tightknit region the ripple effects certainly spread far and wide,” Montgomerie said.

The installation of the benches has already created conversations about suicide within the community.

“It has provided the community with the chance to talk about loved ones who they have lost to suicide,” Montgomerie said.

“It has also opened up conversations around whether suicide ‘is still a thing’ and why the space is important.”

City of Port Lincoln Mayor Brad Flaherty said he hopes the new installation will remind community members to look out for each other while also being a pleasant addition to the foreshore.

“Mental health affects many people throughout their lifetime and through raising awareness and educating our community, we will continue to create safe spaces for people to share their challenges and seek help,” Flaherty said.

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