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Beyond the brush: Shane's story

Beyond the brush: Shane's story

8 February 2024

It is a common sight, a regular weekday in the busy heart of Townsville, and the local Mental Health Hub bustles, providing a safe, welcoming space for consumers to join a range of activities suited to a variety of needs.

From friendly pool games, to relaxation corners, cooking classes, sewing, and yoga, the options are endless.

At a table, beyond the noise and distraction of the city backdrop, is 63-year-old consumer Shane, paintbrush in his hand, as he indulges in his passion for art.

His talent only outweighed by his gratitude for selectability.

“I started coming here in December 2022, I remember I was walking past one day, and things weren’t going too well in my life, I was really down,” Shane said.

“Since then, I have met new friends, a lot of good people, and of course the staff here do such a great job.

“It is good to have people here that you can talk to about things here.”

For Shane, coming to the hub and receiving support has led to a better quality of life, and a newfound passion for painting.

“Painting was never something I was interested in; I always think that maybe coming here is what brought it out of me.”

“I came into the hub one day and they were doing a session using water colours, I fell in love with it after that.”

There is no doubt that Shane’s love for painting is unmatched, with a strong knowledge of complex brushwork and the combination of colours.

Whether it be nature or animals, Shane has a large collection of watercolours, and generously gifts his work to others regularly, saying that he mainly enjoys how painting makes him feel.

“I come here, I do my watercolours and whatever I need, so that when I go home, I have money for food, and haven’t spent it on things I shouldn’t.

“I never used to cook much either, but since I have started coming here, now I do it all the time.

“That’s the best thing about this place, there is so much to do and learn, you’ve got colouring in or painting, there’s a pool table, gardening, photography, cooking, and or they will take us out in about to places, places that I have never even been to before.

“We are even about to start budgeting classes, which I am very interested in."

Celebrating his first year at selectability corner just a month ago, Shane’s adoration for the tailored support selectability provides him is no secret.

“It has been an emotional rollercoaster; this place has done a lot for me.

“If I didn’t come here that day, what would I do? I would be back doing the things I was doing before.

“It is just such a good place to come to.

“I know when I wake up in the morning and I know that this place is here to come to, and a lot of people don’t understand the value of that.”

It is hard to say whether Shane’s story is highlighted by his passion for painting, or his goals reached in the last 14 months or his overwhelming generosity.

One thing is for sure, Shane continues to serve as a stunning example for the positive impact that our mental health hubs provide day in, day out.

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selectability acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we provide services and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge those with lived experience and those who support and partner with us to improve mental wellbeing and prevent suicide across regional Queensland.

Reconciliation Action Plan | Reflect