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Creativity, Mental Health and Well Being Event, CREA Gallery, Riga, Latvia

An important element of the Drawings On Water work is its genesis - from depression to well being through kayaking. As part of the exhibition, the Australian Ambassador, Gerald Thomson hosted and facilitated a morning tea event exploring the issues of mental health in Latvia on the Friday morning following the exhibition opening. The Head of the Latvia Mental Health Department, Ministry for Health, Toms Pulmanis provided a powerful insight about the prevalence of mental health issues and its cost to the economy in Latvia, Dr Dita Baumane Auza, gynecologist and leading Latvian art therapist discussed her practice as an art therapist and I discussed my own experiences. Audience members ranged from Latvian artists through to medical and mental health practitioners and a spirited conversation around personal experiences followed the presentations. A big thank you to Ambassador Gerald Thomson for his organization of the event!