Jules ‘legend’ary contribution to mental health

Surf Coast’s Art of the Minds Festival founder Jules Haddock is Surf Coast Shire’s latest local legend. (Supplied)

Jules Haddock is Surf Coast Shire’s latest local legend for her work in reducing stigma and empowering individuals within the community.

Ms Haddock founded Surf Coast’s Art of the Minds Festival, which educates and engages the Surf Coast and broader community in creatively managing mental health and wellbeing.

“I’m good at gathering people and I guess from an education perspective I’ve got the foundation of what our mental health is all about,” she said.

“I’m very big on connecting community, bringing people together and giving voice to people who are feeling really vulnerable; that’s been my calling.

“There’s nothing like it (Art of the Minds Festival) across Australia. We are really proud of our achievements. I couldn’t have done it without our committee of course.”

Ms Haddock founded the festival annually held during National Mental Health Week in 2015 by staging her own art exhibition and sharing her lived mental health experience.

“The beauty of this festival is that we tell businesses that they can make the money, they don’t have to donate to Art of the Minds,” she said.

“We use the platform to grab the microphone and remind people about the importance of them connecting and embracing knowledge about mental health.

“Last year we raised $17,225 for Foundation 61 (Addiction Treatment Centre) and grew ourselves, and that’s because there is a big synergy between substance misuse and mental illness.”

Ms Haddock also runs a mental health business, The Anxious Bird, and an online wellness program, My Recovery Wheel, to support people’s mental health.