We know that for many people with lived experience of mental health, drug or alcohol issues, creating art is a great way of expressing difficult times or their recovery journey. Creativity can be such an important and healing process.

In honour of all those who create art as a way of expressing themselves, we are inviting people to share their work with us and their community.

Submitted artworks will be displayed on this page as a virtual gallery (unless in breach of our Community Guidelines). You can choose to share the meaning alongside your piece to give hope and inspiration to others and can display your real name or a nickname/pseudonym.

Artwork competition

In recognition of NSW Mental Health Month, all artworks submitted before Sunday 31 October will also be entered into our artwork competition.

Judged by a panel of MLHD staff and people from our Lived Experience Network, there is an opportunity for one artwork to be selected as winner, or to be one of five runners-up.

Please read through the important information below, before submitting your artwork image.

Thank you to all those who have submitted their amazing artworks to our competition. Entries have now closed, however you are welcome to still submit your piece for display in our online gallery.

The winning artwork will:

  • Be chosen to be the official artwork for the MHDA Vision and Mission statements and accompany these where they are printed or displayed.
  • Be displayed in the foyer of the Mental Health Unit in Wagga until the end of 2021
  • Receive a $500 gift voucher.

Five runners-up will:

  • Be included in printed and online consumer and carer information resources which are produced for people accessing Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol services.
  • Be displayed in the foyer of the Mental Health Unit in Wagga until the end of 2021.
  • Receive a $100 gift voucher

Entrants must:

  • Be living in Murrumbidgee Local Health District
  • Be aged over 18
  • Have a lived or carer experience of mental health, drug or alcohol issues
  • Only submit images of artwork they have created themselves and have the right to share. Submitted artworks must not have been commissioned or bought by another person or organisation.
  • Consent to having images of your artwork included in printed and online media, communications, and information materials by Murrumbidgee Local Health District. If selected as winner or runner up, you will be required to complete the MLHD ‘Authority to Publish’ form for your artwork image.
  • Agree to provide MLHD with the original of their artwork (which can be returned) so that this can be professionally photographed for use in print materials.

MLHD will screen all artwork images submitted and will not display those in breach of these terms. Artwork in breach of these terms will not be eligible for entry to the competition.

  • Artwork must not present images which could be distressing, triggering, offensive or derogatory to others. This includes images of self-harm, violence, abuse, profane language (swearing) or offensive terms (e.g. racial slurs).
  • Artwork must not contain photographs or images of other people, unless you have record of their consent to being included.

Entrants can:

  • Choose a name for display with their artwork which can be a name other than their real name if they wish to be anonymous (choose this as your 'screen name' when uploading your artwork image)
  • Submit a meaning or statement to accompany images of their artwork.
  • Choose to either keep the original of their artwork, or have it displayed in a Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol service.
  • Submit more than one artwork.

You might like to draw inspiration from your own recovery journey, from the Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol services Vision and Mission statements or the theme for NSW Mental Health Month 2021 ‘Tune In’:

  • Your recovery or caring journey

Think about the things that have helped you during your experiences with mental health, drug or alcohol issues. What messages of hope do you want to share with others? How would you portray your journey through art?

  • MHDA Services Mission

“We work with individuals, families and carers, collaboratively and respectfully to provide the best care and outcomes possible. We offer hopeful, timely, effective and safe interventions that recognise diversity and are informed by lived experience.”

  • MHDA Services Vision

“Offering person centred care that recognises and responds to people’s changing needs, we will partner with individuals, their families and carers, early in their personal wellness journey to provide the best care. We will focus on wellness for all, reduce stigma and promote social equity to become a leader in the provision of contemporary mental health and drug and alcohol services.

  • 2021 Mental Health Month Theme ‘Tune In’

Tuning in means being present. It means being aware of what is happening within you, and in the world around you. Being present by tuning in has been shown to help build self-awareness, help make effective choices, reduce the impact of worry, and build positive connections.

You can tune in to many things:

Tune in to yourself – What can you sense right now? What can you feel?

Tune in to others – What might people around you be feeling? How can we connect?

Tune in to your communities – What is happening that you can be part of, or that you can help others be part of?

Tune in to stigma – How do attitudes and understandings of mental health and wellbeing impact on people’s ability to live the lives they want? How can we help?

To submit your artwork to the gallery, follow these steps:

  1. Take a photograph of your artwork. Choose a location where there is good light and make sure your artwork fills the photograph space. Do not include other people or background images in your photograph.
  2. Click on the 'submit your artwork' button below
  3. Select 'Photo’ in the top menu bar
  4. Upload the photo of your artwork from your computer or mobile device
  5. Give your artwork a title
  6. Write a description of your artwork or describe the meaning or inspiration behind it.
  7. Select the category that best fits your artwork – is it drawn from your personal experience or caring experience, or did you get inspiration from the Mental Health Month theme or MHDA Vision and Mission statements?
  8. Choose a screen name which will be displayed with your artwork. Do not use your full name. You can choose just your first name, or another name, such as a nickname.
  9. Enter your postcode, contact phone number and email address. This is really important – so we can contact you if your artwork is selected as winner or runner-up, or if there is an issue with your submission. These details will not be visible to anyone outside of the MHDA Experiences administration team.
  10. Hit the ‘submit’ button and you’re all done!

Your artwork will be submitted to us for moderation. Please allow up to 24 hours for it to appear in the gallery.

Submit your artwork below or browse the art shared by others in our community.