Te Ara Korowai wellbeing hub's latest project has been taken from the beach where it was placed for everyone to enjoy.

The project was a tablecloth on a picnic table at Paraparaumu Beach to generate public conversation around mental health.

The idea was the dinner table acting as a unifier, a place of community where time is taken from your day to catch up and talk.

However, as soon as the tablecloth was placed at the beach for the public to enjoy, it disappeared.

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The original table cloth.
The original table cloth.

"We put it down there and it looked amazing," said Rebecca Bond, who started the project.

"We had permission from Big Mac Slabs furniture and placed it on one of their tables by the beach."

It was placed at sunrise on February 4 and by 8.30am when Rebecca went back past it, it was gone.

"We had it tied down well and with rocks so it couldn't blow away, along with pamphlets about Te Ara Korowai. I was gobsmacked."

Relieving at Te Ara Korowai Wellbeing Centre over the summer, Rebecca started the project with participants in Te Ara Korowai's creativity workshops, volunteers and even some board members, spending close to 40 hours on it.

With two goals in mind — needing a project and creating mental health awareness for her art classes — Rebecca wanted to create something different that everyone could participate in, with few rules so that creativity could flow and the participants could have fun.

"The tablecloth idea came to me as tables have always been a place to gather, talk and listen and I thought this could involve the community and encourage them to be more open and spark more conversations around mental health and wellbeing.

"The table is a place where we interact with others — with family, friends, colleagues and even enemies.

"It worries me that we have more projects we wanted to take into the community and now this has happened.

"It feels like the battle is still happening, even to generate conversation about mental health."

The table cloth was made from a variety of media and artwork, including original poetry, painting, sewing, applique and even a set of false teeth sculpted on.

Despite the first tablecloth being taken, Rebecca and Te Ara Korowai have created a second tablecloth and placed it at the beach on Monday.

"We won't be silenced.

"In my opinion there is still such a stigma associated with mental health and too many youth suicides.

"Mental health doesn't go away by ignoring that it exists and the reality of mental health is that it doesn't always look pretty."

The second tablecloth was brighter than before and Te Ara Korowai took one of their creative writing classes down there on Monday to draw more attention to the cloth and their services.

Te Ara Korowai is a peer-support and creative wellbeing centre in Raumati Beach which is open to all ages.

It provides a range of programmes and services using art for improved mental wellbeing.

Working towards reducing stigma and discrimination wherever it exists, Te Ara Korowai promotes an inclusive community through their kaupapa — embracing the path of recovery with the cloak of support.


WHERE TO GET HELP:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• CASPER Suicide Prevention
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.