FreoMind is the brain child of co-founders Robert James Peters and Dr Kaine Grigg.
The duo had previously focussed on the areas of community engagement and clinical/forensic psychology respectively. Both had observed the positive impact of engaging community members on their mental health, resilience, and social and emotional wellbeing and, as a consequence, their broader communities.
Conceptualised in 2016 and commencing in 2017, FreoMind is a social network that engages the Fremantle community by connecting with and promoting the social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and resilience of its members. FreoMind understands the importance of remaining socially connected and acknowledges that social connection can reduce known risk factors for becoming mentally unwell. A meaningful social network protects against social isolation and loneliness.
FreoMind aims to be responsive to the needs of the Fremantle community by providing an online community support forum, in addition to health promotion events that are identified as needed by the community. FreoMind endorses only specific events that are evidence-based and staffed by health professionals. FreoMind works across social media and face-to-face mediums to fill a gap in Fremantle’s mental health system.
FreoMind is not a replacement for mental health treatment. Instead, it aims to contribute to the development of resilience and, as a consequence, the prevention of the deterioration of the mental health of Fremantle community members. FreoMind acts as a conduit between the community and mental health services, offering community members information about, and links to, services. FreoMind also empowers community members to remain mentally healthy via engaging with FreoMind’s social media platform and health promotion events. FreoMind hopes to build a trusted brand that ensures participants feel safe and respected when attending any FreoMind events, thus encouraging community members to attend events that they otherwise would not be confident or comfortable in attending.
FreoMind Facebook Group
The FreoMind Facebook group is a closed Facebook group that provides a safe, respectful, non-judgemental and supportive space for members to share experiences, resources and events that promote mental health, resilience, and social and emotional wellbeing. The FreoMind Facebook group is the hub for all information related to FreoMind and FreoMind events. FreoMind welcomes the sharing of members’ experiences, opinions and events. However, FreoMind does not endorse the provision of direct advice around mental health treatment and encourages members to seek formal advice from a suitably qualified mental health professional.
The practice of mindfulness is thousands of years old, but only recently has its physical and mental health benefits become widely publicised and supported by scientific evidence. Mindfulness brings about various positive psychological effects, including increased subjective wellbeing, reduced psychological symptoms and emotional reactivity and improved behavioural regulation.
FreoMindfulness: An Introduction to Mindfulness is a three hour introductory workshop facilitated by FreoMind’s Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr Kaine Grigg. This workshop aims to provide participants with an introduction to mindfulness, its mechanisms of action, its benefits and, most importantly, an opportunity for participants to develop the skills and confidence to practice and benefit from mindfulness in their own home. A number of different mindfulness techniques are taught, including mindful eating, mindful breathing, mindful sensing, muscle mindfulness and mindful imagery.
FreoMindfulness: Intermediate Mindfulness Sessions are a weekly one hour guided mindfulness sessions facilitated by Dr Kaine Grigg. These sessions aim to provide an opportunity for participants to practice and benefit from mindfulness in their own home. Participants are guided through a number of different extended mindfulness techniques for around 15-20 minutes per technique.
Art and Mindfulness
Art and Mindfulness is a three hour introductory workshop facilitated by local Fremantle artist Stuart McMillan. FreoMind’s Art and Mindfulness workshop is an introduction to the synergies of art and mindfulness and how art can be utilised as a form of mindfulness practice. This is a beginner course in the exploration of creation, meditation, surrendering your inhibitions and reconnecting to the simple pleasures of drawing. The joys of creativity are delved into, exploring the art of mark making and gestural line drawing. The session offers guidance around utilising different techniques to enable participants to create their own works of art. FreoMind’s Art and Mindfulness workshop acknowledges and targets the benefits of mindfulness, in addition to those of active and observed creativity on wellbeing.
FreoMind Life Skills Groups
FreoMind Life Skills Groups are closed, semi-structured life skills groups for adult males, adult females, or mixed genders. FreoMind Life Skills Groups address four major needs: decreasing social isolation, enhancing self-esteem, increasing access to specific information about health and providing mediation between the everyday world and the health care system. Each of these areas has been demonstrated to be core to the benefits of Life Skills Groups. The following topics are addressed over eight sessions: gender and mental health; emotions; communication; problem solving and goal setting; relationships; and domestic violence. It is hoped that participants will build lasting relationships with other members and develop core life skills that they can utilise into the future.
FreoMind Men’s Group is co-facilitated by Dr Kaine Grigg and Fremantle local Jeff Burge.
FreoMind Women’s Group is co-facilitated by FreoMind Psychologist Linda Skinner and Fremantle local Odelle Templeton.
FreoMind Mixed Group is co-facilitated by Dr Kaine Grigg and Fremantle local Natasha De Sousa.
Prior FreoMind Events
FreoMind was involved with the following events in 2017. Although these events are no longer facilitated by FreoMind, it was a privilege to be a part of both. Together these events were core sources of learning for the FreoMind team that expanded prior understandings of the Fremantle community. This experience enables FreoMind to better service the Fremantle community into the future. These creativity-based events acknowledged and targeted the benefits of active and observed creativity on wellbeing.
By promoting a community that is accepting of diversity in body weight and shape, Drink and Draw at The Local was intended to be a form of universal prevention intervention for body dissatisfaction. Drink and Draw achieved this aim by providing a diverse range of models (i.e., shapes, sizes, colours, cultures, etc.) and a supportive and non-judgemental environment. Drink and Draw additionally offered participants an opportunity to model for the group, which can be considered a form of exposure that benefits body image perceptions.
Limelight at The Local was an acoustic open mic night that provided exposure for some of Fremantle’s less known local talents. FreoMind community members were encouraged to perform. Although music was the main medium of creative expression, spoken word acts were also featured and encouraged.
Future FreoMind Events
In addition to continuing existing events, the FreoMind team are seeking to expand into related and novel areas. The FreoMind team are open to feedback around what is lacking from the Fremantle community, as FreoMind wants to continue to be responsive to the needs of the area and community members. In the near future, FreoMind are planning to begin to expand to address the needs of Fremantle youth and to provide psycho-education events around important mental health topics such as adjustment to mental illness, suicide prevention, and non-suicidal self-injury.
If you are a member of the Fremantle community and have an idea about what health promotion events are needed that FreoMind could deliver in the future, FreoMind would love to hear from you.
If you are a registered mental health professional and want to get involved with FreoMind via delivering a workshop, assisting with an existing workshop, or helping to moderate the FreoMind Facebook group page, please get in touch with the FreoMind team.
The FreoMind team will be contributing a regular column to this publication, with the next article focussed on suicide prevention. If you have any requests for our column to address a topic related to mental health, resilience, or social and emotional well-being that you believe would benefit the Fremantle community, FreoMind are open to suggestions.
Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org and join the FreoMind community via https://www.facebook.com/groups/389998681360460/
beyondblue (2015). beyondblue Information paper: Stigma and discrimination associated with depression and anxiety. Retrieved from www.beyondblue.org.au/about-us/position-statements-and-policy-submissions/stigma-discrimination
Bolwerk, A., Mack-Andrick, J., Lang, F. R., Dörfler, A., & Maihöfner, C. (2014). How art changes your brain: Differential effects of visual art production and cognitive art evaluation on functional brain connectivity. PLoS ONE, 9(7): e101035. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101035
Dohnt, H., & Tiggemann, M. (2006). The contribution of peer and media influences to the development of body satisfaction and self-esteem in young girls: A prospective study. Developmental Psychology, 42(5): 929–936. doi: 10.1037/0012-16184.108.40.2069
Foa, E. B. (2011). Prolonged exposure therapy: Past, present, and future. Depression and Anxiety, 28: 1043–1047. doi: 10.1002/da.20907
Hayes, R., & Williamson, M. (2006). Evidence-based, best-practice guidelines for Victorian Men’s Sheds. Report for Office of Senior Victorians, School of Public Health, Bundoora: La Trobe University. Retrieved from arrow.latrobe.edu.au:8080/vital/access/manager/Repository;jsessionid=6CFBB56BD42161C2F7E969B5A66C6E09/latrobe:21697?f0=sm_creator%3A%22Williamson%2C+Michelle+Kate.%22
House, J. S. (2001). Social isolation kills, but how and why? Psychosomatic Medicine, 63: 273–274. doi: 033-3174/01/6302-0273
Kenga, S-L., Smoskib, M. J., & Robins, C. J. (2011). Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: A review of empirical studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 31(6): 1041–1056. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2011.04.006
Paxton, S. (2011). Psychological prevention and intervention strategies for body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. Retrieved from https://www.psychology.org.au/Content.aspx?ID=3802
Stuckey H. L., & Nobel, J. (2009). The connection between art, healing, and public health: A review of current literature. American Journal of Public Health, 100(2): 254-63. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.156497