They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but for Kylie, one drawing is worth thousands of unspoken words.
Kylie Steinhardt recently published an online book titled “A Journey into Mental Health Recovery and the Power of Art”, in which she shares her personal struggles with mental health and the pivotal role art played in her healing process.
By sharing her journey, Kylie aspires to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental health and inspire others going through a difficult or challenging time to seek help and support.
“As someone who has faced the isolating and intimidating nature of mental health issues, I want to assure others by telling my story that they are not alone in their struggles and help is available.”
At Bunjil Place Art Gallery, Kylie designed a colouring wallpaper, which her daughter coloured in proudly (right).
Kylie’s story begins with the traumatic experience of an ectopic pregnancy, which marked the beginning of a long and difficult battle with depression, paranoia, and schizophrenia.
Despite the added difficulty of a stressful office job and two failed attempts at IVF, Kylie’s perseverance and determination enabled her to take control of her condition and try IVF again, which led to the successful birth of her baby girl in 2012.
This joyous moment marked a new beginning for Kylie, who then turned to art as a way to cope with her struggles, creating beautiful drawings that depict her journey through schizophrenia and the emotions she felt along the way.
“Art helps me through tough times with my ongoing recovery and is a way to express my feelings.”
Kylie’s artwork quickly gained attention, with exhibits at the Mental Health Stigma Exhibit, the Linden Postcard Show in St Kilda, and the Bunjil Place Art Gallery in Casey.
Art is a means for Kylie to express her emotions and cope with difficult times during her recovery.
Kylie’s journey toward healing didn’t end there. Through the NDIS, Kylie was referred to an EACH NDIS Psychosocial Recovery Coach, who provided pathways to a psychologist, and occupational Therapist, and even introduced her to art classes to support her mental health.
“I have had many Recovery Coaches throughout my journey, but EACH’s Psychosocial Recovery Coach has been the most supportive and knowledgeable about mental health.”
The release of Kylie’s book comes at a time when mental health issues are in the spotlight, as more people are speaking out about their struggles and the need for better access to mental health resources.
“We need to have more open and honest conversations about mental health, and I hope that my story can help to start those conversations.”
At EACH, we provide a range of community-based services that offer recovery-oriented options that create hope, new skills and opportunities for people living with or at risk of developing mental health problems. We also support families and carers.