Support at Festival Events – Don’t Rush Home!

During the festival you may encounter artworks, experiences or events that give rise to emotions, thoughts or feelings that need to be worked through or discussed. We encourage everyone to take time to review and process these experiences for your own wellbeing.

‘Don’t Rush Home’

‘Don’t Rush Home’ is a concept adapted from First Fortnight, a festival in Ireland that uses arts and culture to challenge mental health stigma while supporting vulnerable people through creative therapies. The idea is that no one should leave the festival feeling upset, distressed, concerned or confused. We hope that visitors have positive and beneficial experiences but we recognise that complex material or feelings need processing – and very often an experience is enhanced by discussion.

“Getting Help” including clinics and self help tools visit Black Dog Institute website

Autism and Neurodiversity: language conventions

The Big Anxiety respects individual preferences for either ‘identity first’ language (eg. “I am an autistic artist/person”) or ‘person first’ language (“I am an artist/person with autism”).

We actively endorse the neurodiversity movement and the view that neurological difference reflects natural variation variation rather than deficit. As such we follow the lead of participating artists who use identity first language in relation to autism as a means of affirming and validating autistic experience. This position is outlined in the following articles:

Psychology Today
Autistic Advocacy
The Conversation

However, with regard to mental health, we generally use person-first language and avoid the use of language that identifies a person with an illness, disorder or condition.

Art and Anxiety

The Anxiety Issue of Artlink (2017)

On Art and Anxiety: ‘We Are All Anxious Now’ Tate [Issue 39: Spring 2017]

Conversations about Suicide
Conversations Matter [Online]

Useful websites and phone numbers

  • Black Dog Institute
    Fact sheets for consumers, families and careers mental illness. Anonymous validated screening tools for identifying depression and bipolar disorder.
  • myCompass
    An anonymous, confidential online support program shown in research trials to reduce the symptoms of moderate depression over 8 weeks of use; the tool tracks recovery and response to treatment as well as providing self-directed interventions.
  • SANE
    1800 187 263
    Factsheets on illnesses and treatments as well as a phone line for advice on local support groups and facilities.
  • Man Therapy
    For men wanting to check out their mental health and get advice on getting help.
  • Mind Health Connect
    Information and support for people with mental illnesses, their families and friends.
  • Lifeline
    13 11 14
    24-hour telephone counselling, information and referral service.
  • Mensline Australia
    1300 789 978
    24-hour support for men dealing with family and relationship problems.
  • Beyond Blue
    1300 224 636
    Information on depression, anxiety and related disorders, available treatments and where to get help.
  • Carers Australia
    1800 242 636
    Family carer support and counselling.
  • Relationships Australia
    1300 364 277
    Relationship support and counselling service for individuals, families and communities.
  • Suicide Call Back service
    1300 659 467
    24-hour telephone counselling service for those at risk of suicide, carers of someone who is suicidal and those bereaved by suicide.
  • Reach Out
    Online youth mental health service. Expert generated mobile-friendly site and forums.
  • Bite Back
    BITE BACK developed by the Black Dog Institute is an online space for young people which promotes resilience.
  • Kids Helpline
    1800 551 800