Louise Marson is a cohealth client and an emerging artist living with disability from an acquired brain injury and mental illness. She says her art practice is both her voice and her mindfulness practice.
Around 10 years ago Louise began experiencing debilitating mental health issues. She sought out support from cohealth GP, Dr Karin Halewood, and was given a diagnosis that helped her understand her condition, and the treatment required.
Dr Halewood helped connect Louise with a range of other services and clinicians to provide a wraparound supports that address her social, physical and mental health needs.
Dr Halewood helped design Louise’s NDIS plan which provided funding for her to access an art mentor and funding for her assistant dog, both of which Louise says ‘opened up a whole new world’.
Louise has been empowered to pursue her art practice, taking out a studio at the Collingwood Yards from where she practices her mosaic art. Louise is currently holding her first solo art exhibition at the University of Melbourne’s Dax Centre.
The large-scale mosaic art exhibition celebrates nature and resilience, and was developed by Louise during the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020-21.
Louise credits the cohealth Collingwood practitioners for providing the holistic care she needs to regain control of her life, and discover her art practice..
As well as her mental health needs, the Collingwood nurses help Louise to manage and improve her physical health, including high blood pressure and physiotherapy sessions. Louise also uses the cohealth dental services, and Innerspace drop-in centre, and says she feels comfortable in cohealth spaces.
Over the last 10 years cohealth has assisted Louise with referrals to alcohol and other drug rehabilitation programs at Windana, helped her to challenge a VCAT ruling and access funding to pursue her art.
Intermittently when Louise’s mental health deteriorates and she is admitted to hospital, cohealth maintains contact with the hospital staff and Louise to ensure there is a smooth transition back into the community when she’s discharged.
“The multidisciplinary team keeps me well on all fronts, and allow me to move past my trauma. I know that behind me is a team of people that keep me well,” says Louise.
“When you’re having a serious mental health episode, it’s really important to be able to get into hospital, but it’s critical that there is a great community-based team available when you get out”
“I’m very grateful to cohealth. I wouldn’t be the person I am today them.”