SMILE: The Simple Mental health Initiative in Learning and Education (SMILE) program has been operating for 12 months and is an extension of the stARTalking project. SMILE has provided health education to over 100 community participants to date. It has involved 35 La Trobe University students from nursing, nutrition and psychology. Students have facilitated the weekly SMILE 2 hour x 8 week health and well being workshops (under academic supervision). The 1st hour was devoted to addressing the Australian Health Priorities and the 2nd hour for participants to engage in art making activities.
Art making and creative expression was encouraged to support reflective practice, stress management and as a way in which to reinforce learning.
A number of art works were created. The evaluations identified that the SMILE program had a positive impact on student and community member learning. SMILE will be continued in 2016.