Max and Bella and friends

‘Max and Bella and friends’ is a ‘in process/progress’ new art installation by Donna Turtle Sarten & Bernie Harfleet. This work looks at mental health with particular focus on depression and anxiety disorders in New Zealand.

In the 2012/13 New Zealand Health Survey, one in six New Zealand adults (16%, or an estimated 582,000 adults) had been diagnosed with a common mental disorder at some time in their lives (including depression, bipolar disorder and/or anxiety disorder).

Six percent of New Zealand adults, or more than 200,000 adults, experienced psychological distress in the last four weeks. People experiencing psychological distress are highly likely to have an anxiety or depressive disorder.

Health and support agencies agree that talking about mental health and asking for, or offering help are positive ways forward. ‘Bella and Max and friends’ gives a visual experience to the viewer of a part of the community that is not talked about enough.

This work will be made up of 10,000 pinwheels, five percent of New Zealand adults that have experienced psychological distress in the last month.
The pinwheel/windmill has been used as it has a figurative quality. It has times of stillness and of kinetic movement serving as an analogy for the mind.

Donna and Bernie are planning to include the community in the making of the installation and are currently seeking funding to complete their vision.

Facebook page: Max and Bella and friends


National helplines

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Healthline – 0800 611 116

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Chinese Lifeline – 0800 888 880 (for people who speak Mandarin or Cantonese)

Depression-specific helplines

Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 (to talk to a trained counsellor about how you are feeling or to ask any questions)

www.depression.org.nz – includes The Journal online help service

SPARX.org.nz – online e-therapy tool provided by the University of Auckland that helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed