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The current drought has increased mental health pressures facing rural Australians – and a series of workshops coming up around the Riverina offers an innovative solution for relieving stress: writing.

Griffith City Library will be hosting a Writing for Wellbeing workshop on Wednesday 20 March, from 10.30am – 12pm.  

The workshops, presented by Riverina Bluebell, will teach people how to use writing for everyday health and wellbeing.

“Writing is a proven strategy for good health,” said workshop presenter, author and journalist Stephanie Dale.

“It’s an incredibly powerful tool for clarifying thoughts and solving problems.”

Five years ago Stephanie founded The Write Road, an award-winning mental health initiative that makes writing support available to rural and remote Australians.

She said the workshops aimed to encourage people to ‘waste time’.

“Stressed people need rest and yet the more ‘busy’ people become the less likely they are to take time out,” she said.

“It’s incredible how many people would like to write and but fear they would be 'wasting time'. It’s the most common reason people give for not writing.”

Stephanie said myriad studies showed writing could positively influence mental, physical and emotional health.

“Writing can change our attitudes in times of crisis, as well as help us manage pain, depression and stress,” she said.

“Writing doesn't just make us feel better - hard evidence shows us that in every possible way it can make us better.”

Riverina Bluebell spokesperson and Gundagai author Freda Nicholls said the Creative Journaling workshops would give people an opportunity to take time out to learn tools, tips and techniques for using writing as a tool for wellbeing.

You can book your place in the Writing for Wellbeing workshop by contacting Griffith City Library on 6962 8300. Cost is a gold coin donation to Riverina Bluebell.

In addition, a Song of the Soul Workshop is being offered for thse who want to cross the bridge between thinking about writing a book and actually doing it. This session will be held Wednesday 20 March at 1pm – 2.30pm and has only 8 places available. The cost is $55 and you can book by calling 0422 138 103.