Our Impact: Helping Injured workers 'return to life'

Our Return-to-Life approach of skilling up people to find creative practices proven to regulate and reduce a range of mental health symptoms.

"Makeshift Creativity on Prescription has, by far, been the most enjoyable part of my mental health journey. Suffering from PTSD, an Adjustment Disorder and Anxiety left me feeling like I was alone in a dark hole, with no way out. Makeshift has helped me find a way out of the hole. I now have a toolkit containing a wide range of activities, from writing to gardening, that I can choose from to improve my mental state. Thanks to Makeshift, I have rediscovered joy and, after being guided through short, easy, everyday practices, I feel empowered to better manage my mental health on a day-to-day basis."

Approximately seven and half thousand people in NSW are compensated each year due to mental health injuries that occur in the workplace. Safe Work Australia estimates that $543M is paid each year in compensation to Australian workers who experience mental stress, traumatic incidents or bullying and violence at work.

The impact of these injuries is significant. The average length of time off work for a psychological injury, in comparison to a physical one, is at least twice as long, and often this experience in itself actually exacerbates the original psychological injury. Isolation and loss of sense of purpose and identity feature heavily in many peoples' experiences of being on a claim due to mental health stress and injury.

"Before this program, I hardly left the house or spoke to anyone. I was really adrift after being so immersed in my job for so many years. Finding myself unable to even socialise with my children's friends' parents was really hard, I felt hopeless"

The ReMind: Creative Prescription 8 week program takes a range of creative practices, like drawing, cooking, music, writing and craft, and applies them in a way that helps people to understand how these practices can help to shift us out of really uncomfortable experiences like heightened anxiety, numbness, vigilance and a range of symtoms and impacts of PTSD.

Along with a range of cognitive behavioural therapy tools, such as the Window of Tolerance, we work with group participants to develop awareness of how mental health experiences show up for them, and which practices specifically offset those experiences. By cultivating a habit of those practices, participants develop mindful self-care behaviours and complete the program with greater capacity to know and understand what they need to do each day to support their mental health recovery.

"Being able to try out different things like creative writing, music and painting - I never would have tried these and I was surprised not only by how much I enjoyed them, but how relaxing they are. It's a really amazing way to connect with enjoying things again. I didn't think that would ever happen."

Following our pilot program in 2019, the following outcomes were reported by participants:

Mood Management - 100% agreed with the statement “I learned how to recognise my moods” and “I found I could change my mood using what I’d learned” 

Self Awareness - 83% agreed with the statement “I have gained insight into my own abilities/ creativity” 

Hopefulness - 100% agreed with the statement “I feel more hopeful about the future

Confidence - 83% agreed with the statement “I feel more at ease with myself” and “I feel more confident” 

Managing Mood - 67% agreed with the statement “I like myself more than I did before and can control my own mood/ responses” 

Social Interactions - 100% agreed with the statement “I made new friends” and 83% agreed with the statement “I have had more social interactions” 

Activity - 100% agreed with the statement “I have been going out of the house more” 

Belonging & Community - 83% agreed with the statements “I feel a greater sense of belonging” and “The community feels more like a place for me”


Taking Care of Mental Health in the Creative Industries

Mental illnesses affect those in creative industries at higher rates than the rest of the Australian population. Here are some of our favourite stories from people in the creative industries and how they manage their mental health.

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Lunch Break: Creative Habits at Work

Never before has mental health been at the forefront of conversations about the workplace. It's time for normalising self-care at work!

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In the Making : A Podcast!

In the Making a podcast by Makeshift that explores creativity as a prescription for challenging times. Featuring interviews with makers and artists who share their personal stories of how creative practices have helped them through tough times. The conversations are rich, insightful and illuminate the myriad ways that creativity (in all its many forms!) can be a true lifesaver during difficult periods of our lives.

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The Four Obstacles to Creativity

Humans have always been creative. We’ve had to be - our worlds shift and change constantly, and one of our greatest skills is the ability to think of new solutions, try new things and bond together over shared stories.

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Drawing, Making, Dancing: The Evidence for our approach

Growing research proves that creative habits make a big impact on our mental wellbeing. Read about why they make a difference, and how our programs introduce ways to explore this for our own self-care.

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Our Impact: Helping Injured workers 'return to life'

Our Return-to-Life approach of skilling up people to find creative practices proven to regulate and reduce a range of mental health symptoms.

learn more

Our Impact in the Music Industry

Working in partnership with peak bodies in the music industry, we are delivering Mental Health First Aid training to Artist Managers

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Why Play's great for mental wellness

Play isn't just for kids! It turns out, it's a vital part of being a human.

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Delight as an Antidote to 2020

As we navigate the range of experiences of grief, loss and uncertainty that 2020 has brought us, let us turn to delight as an action, a tool for hope and light at the end of the tunnel.

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Always Learning

National Reconciliation week has driven home just how much further we have to go in truly working towards healing.

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Prescribing Creativity

Creativity is innate in all of us. And we are just beginning to understand, as a culture, the power of creative practice as a balm for grief, distress, trauma and pain

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Window of Tolerance

Are you feeling wired, hyper-vigilant and awake? Panicky, fluttery in the belly, a bit shaky? Or exhausted, flat and drained?

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A Dose of Nature

As we try and find a rhythm in this new way of being and living right now, try to remember to include a dose of nature, each day. It will do us all the world of good. 

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The Irish Government are choosing to describe ‘self-isolating’ and ‘quarantine’ as Cocooning.

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On Being Social

Folks, let’s talk about ‘Social Distancing’. Us humans are ‘social’ beings which means we seek and crave companionship and are suited to living in communities, yes? It’s wired into our DNA, our bones. Well, nothing about that has changed.

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What is social prescribing?

“To end loneliness, you need other people—plus something else. You also need to feel you are sharing something with the other person, or the group, that is meaningful to both of you.

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