A series of photographs intended to promote a mental wellbeing forum have become a popular representation of the diversity of mental health needs in Launceston.
Photographer Alison Cosker has partnered personal stories with candid portraits of Launceston identities on a Facebook page ahead of Mental Health Week forum Lifting the Lid on Mental Health.
The photographs have elicited a response far beyond what Cosker could have imagined.
“I thought taking portraits was a good idea but didn’t anticipate it would make the Facebook page what it is,” Cosker said.
“Just in three weeks we’ve got 1100 likes and page views upwards of tens of thousands. Having really personal content, it has just clicked with people in Launceston.”
Harvest Market stalwart Amelia Padgett, the first to appear in the series, shared how she was balancing living with depression and anxiety with pregnancy.
“Living with a mental illness doesn’t mean things are impossible, it means I have to search out and plan better ways to make things happen,” her post read.
“I know it won’t be easy, but I also know that I have the support in place for when times get tough. I’m really excited for the future.”
Cosker said the diversity of stories demonstrated how wide-reaching mental illness was.
“There’s pre-existing factors that might make you more or less likely to become mentally unwell, but you can be rich or poor, any level of industry, education, any race or orientation,” she said.
Lifting the Lid on Mental Health will be held at the Inveresk Tramsheds on October 10 from 7pm.