Dispensing creative medicine in 30 minute doses with Wollongong Council

Wollongong Council

"Astonishing! I feel human again."

For four days in October, Mental Health Month, MakeShift popped up in the Wollongong Arts Precinct hosting The Creative Dispensary- a live, immersive clinic dispensing creative medicine in 30 minute doses.

From the waiting room to the observation area, the Dispensary held people through a series of stations - a Dose of Dress Ups, of Drawing, Thread Therapy, Forest Bathing, as well as issuing a take-home prescription of play and delight.

"I came in anxious, and came out calm. Just wonderful. It's so simple"

Research proves that engaging with art and creativity for just 2 hours a week (or around 20 minutes a day) improves your health and wellbeing (Davies, C, 2015, The Art of being Mentally Healthy and we know, undoubtedly, here at MakeShift, that engaging in play or creative practice creates the conditions for important and vital shifts in our nervous systems away from fear, anxiety, despair, and into calm, delight and connection.

Spending time in proximity to nature - plants, landscape, soil, bird sounds - this experience immediately interacts with our brains, provoking a mindful state, increasing endorphins and reducing stress. It's free, accessible and joyful medicine!

The Creative Dispensary was part of Luminous Festival, presented by Wollongong City Council supported by NSW Revitalisation Funding.

Creative Dispensary Team:

Devised by : Caitlin Marshall and Lizzie Rose

Creative Direction + Signage: Mignon Steele & Barnacle Studios

Graphics: Pete Golsby

Illustrations: Kiara Mucci

Activity Curation: Mel Young

Forest design + installation: Narelle Happ, A Garden for Life

Clinicians: Quirine van Aspen, Karen Yello, Jes Rowe, Angie Cass, Sylvie Figgis, Caroline McLaren, Caitlin Marshall, Lizzie Rose

Photography: Sarah Tedder, Bear Hunt Photography

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