Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, depression, mental health, Uncategorized by freoview on September 14, 2017




It is R U OK? Day today and a timely reminder for all of us to remain vigilant about our loved ones and work colleagues.

Mental health issues affect a large number of people in our society and they deserve our awareness and support. There is also a disturbing high trend of youth suicide.

Often just having someone who will listen without judging, to get a hug, a smile, and to not feel totally abandoned and alone in fighting the black dog, is so very important.

When that big black hole opens and the anxiety and depression takes over, it is a huge battle to try to pull yourself out of it, and sometimes it seems futile to keep on trying, as even getting out of bed in the morning is too much.

So ask the people around you if they are ok, because many of us just keep smiling while sinking deeper and deeper in the hole of no return. You could safe someone’s life today!



Roel Loopers

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Posted in art, city of fremantle, education, mental health, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on September 13, 2017




Fremantle Notre Dame University students came up with a creative idea to raise awareness for mental health and R U OK? DAY.

Students were handed small bags with paint in them to throw at a canvas, that will become an abstract painting depicting all the moods and nuances of life.


Roel Loopers



Posted in art, fremantle, mental health by freoview on February 19, 2017



Can You See My Mind is a powerful art exhibition about mental health upstairs at the Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery in Henry Street, Fremantle.

The works by photographer Melanie English and artist Megan Henry have been created from mental health questionnaires completed by people who suffered or are still suffering a mental health condition.

Mental health issues affect one in five Australians every year so it is not something we should be ignorant or judgmental about.

We have come a long way and no longer call people who have mental health problems lunatics or crazy, but there is often still a stigma attached to it and a presumption that the issues are alcohol or drug related, hence many people try to fight depression in isolation.

Shame, fear, loneliness, anxiety and feeling so deeply tired of life, in what one perceives to be absolute isolation and abandoned by society and friends, is a very traumatic experience that sadly often ends in suicide.

It is important that we are constantly aware that even close friends might not share their mental health issues with us and that asking and being observant is very important.

This exhibition helps us understand just a little bit better how and what people with mental health poblems go through.

Also at the Moores at ground level is a sculpture and painting show by Jon Denaro.

Roel Loopers




Posted in art, fremantle, health, mental health, western australia by freoview on May 25, 2016


There is an interesting creative event on at Fremantle B Shed on Victoria Quay this Saturday May 28. SPECTRUM is a single day design event by Osnat Harlap of Urbanframeworks.

It uses the positive effects of mental and physical renewal as its theme, and invites you to explore the impact of creativity on mental space.

The program complements the forum.

On show and opening on Friday are new works by well-known Freo artist Eveline Kotai.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle, health, mental health by freoview on March 18, 2016

Music to Open Your Mind. Mental Health Week

The Music To Open Your Mind mental health awareness event is on again at Fremantle Kings Square this Sunday from 12 noon and worth visiting. There are a lot of stalls with information about mental health, but there is also a lot of entertainment and fun.

The Elektric Co Tria, Ella E, Wasamba, Mambo Chic and the St Patrick’s Starliaght Choir will be performing, there is a climbing wall, children’s activities and food stalls, so go and have a look.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, mental health by freoview on October 6, 2015

It is MENTAL HEALTH WEEK and students of Fremantle Notre Dame University have a display in the courtyard near the library today and are asking people to paint positive messages on the pavement at High Street.

Mental health is a serious worry because it affects so many people in our society. We hear of the terrible tragedy of children as young as nine-year-old taking their own life, depression is a way of life for many older people, and anxiety about life and the future is prevalent throughout our community.

I went through a huge mental health crisis myself in 1995 and the black dog has been sniffing at my heels every since. All of a sudden and out of nowhere that big black sink hole opens up at one’s trembling feet and it is near impossible to stop oneself from falling in. There is a deep sense of aloneness and powerlessness when this happens, and the inability to see a positive future ahead. One does not believe that anyone understands or can help you, so you struggle on alone and in despair and feel abandoned by the world.

Experts tell us to go and see our GP but not all GPs have empathy for someone in a mental health crisis, as I found out years ago. When I was down and very very nearly out I asked for a referral to Healthy Minds who operated out of Headspace at the time, but my GP said they were probably just a new self-serving unit he had never heard off and suggested I should go to “dancing halls” to pick up a rich woman who would look after me. Hearing that I was not surviving financially he told me I had enough fat to burn so I should not worry about having no money for food. No money for rent? You can sleep in your car, my medical professional advised me.

I was treated like a drug-addicted loser, but I was lucky that I was not an insecure self-doubting youth, but a mature person with enough self love to walk out of the meeting with the GP and thought of it as the most expensive stand-up comedy session I had been to.

The letter of complaint I sent to the GP did not get a response, but the people at Healthy Minds were wonderful. And so I live on and try to love life and people as much as I can. Every day is special and I know some bad days will come, but I feel strong enough to fight them, talk about it, and ask some good friends for a hug when I need one.

And of course I no longer go to the uncaring fool who calls himself a GP.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, homeless, local government by freoview on September 28, 2015

The recent Arthur Head vandalism and homeless people invading backyards there keeps reminding me that we need to do better as a society to look after people in need. It is not only alcohol and drugs but often also mental health that puts these people on the street and lose their dignity.

The City of Fremantle does have empty spaces such as the former Queensgate cinema, to name just one, so would there be options to work with St Patrick’s and other support agencies to at least offer homeless people shelter, and maybe even a shower there?

For me it is unacceptable that a rich state like WA has homeless people and I believe we can improve on how we deal with them and support them. It breaks my heart to see families shivering and wet in the early mornings because they have been out on the streets all night without protection from being bashed and robbed of their very few belongings.

There must be State an Federal funding that a local government can tap into to to collaborate with agencies and support those in need better.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Stret, Beaconsfield 6162.


Posted in depression, fremantle, suicide by freoview on September 10, 2015

suicide prevention day

Today is WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY and something we should all be aware of because far too many people in our society take their own life, often triggered by depression. Especially youth suicide should be of great concern to all of us and we need to ask how as a community we can support desperate kids better.

In general though we should try to be more observant and that is difficult in world that wants to do everything faster and faster and where moments of contemplation have become more fleeting and rare.

The world of ego-driven selfies has little time for those who need to sit down for a good deep talk where they can express their most inner feelings and dare to ask for help, so the sense on aloneness and despair increases and too often that results in suicide attempts. So ask, and keep asking R U OK?

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, weather by freoview on July 28, 2015


This photo taken at the Fremantle south mole today shows the dark and gloomy mood I am in. Things need to improve fast before I start kicking myself in the bum because life is too short and too precious to run around clouded in negativity.

What better way to snap out of it than taking a few photos and reading a good book, while a big pot of soup is cooking on the stove.

Roel Loopers


Posted in depression, fremantle, travel by freoview on July 9, 2015
Photo by Bob Sommerville

Photo by Bob Sommerville

Twenty years ago in June 1995 one of the most defining moments of my life started when I went on a seven months, 58,000 km solo journey through Australia. I had sold my lovely home in Fremantle’s Bolton Place and most of my belongings as I did not know if I would return to Freo, but of course I did because I always felt a special connection with this place.

A huge life-threatening depression forced me to make the drastic decision to try to stay alive by changing my life. If all I had did not make me happy I might as well let go off it all and travel and find out who I am and what I want from life.

After seven months of rollercoaster emotions from deep satisfaction to deep despair and seeing some of the most stunning and remote parts of Australia I returned to Fremantle, and what a good decision it has turned out to be.

On return I had my very first article published in the Fremantle Herald in mid 1996 about the discrimination against Aboriginal people I had witnessed during my trip, and I became an avid writer of letters to editors of newspapers on all kinds of issues. I had found my voice and the desire to engage deeper and more publicly with the community I lived in. I engaged with the Walyalup Reconciliation Group, the Fremantle Society, Roundhouse tour guides, the arts industry, local government, events and markets, and many more things, to try to be a positive influence for Freo’s future.

Over the last twenty years Fremantle has grown on me and we are now like an old couple living very comfortably together but not without having the odd quarrel. Freo sees all my shortcomings and good bits and I see hers. That is not a bad thing because it is based on mutual respect and the desire to make our world a better place.

My trip had taught me that I should not just be an observer but a participant and that if I could find the courage to speak out I could make a difference.

I am now in the last quarter of my life and I have no intention to leave Fremantle as I really love this city. My intense and passionate engagement will continue because I believe I can help make Freo an even better place. Not everyone appreciates what I write on Freo’s View, but that is good because it has inspired many people to take part in the community debate and speak their mind, and that is great for Fremantle.

I am so glad and grateful I returned to Freo after my trip because there is no other place I feel more comfortable in.

Roel Loopers

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