Creative Young Minds 2016 to support mental health

COMMUNITY: Brody Posthuma, Hannah and Ebony Nichols, with Claudia Garwood, Alison Robertson and organiser Claire Johnston.

COMMUNITY: Brody Posthuma, Hannah and Ebony Nichols, with Claudia Garwood, Alison Robertson and organiser Claire Johnston.

A first-time event for Launceston hopes to forge a connection between young people and mental health services.

Creative Young Minds will aim to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing for Northern Tasmania’s youth, while raising the profiles of the services in the area that are available for people who need help.

But the event comes with a difference.

It aims to connect the two parties through the arts, with a program of dance, live music, workshops, and discussion circles.

The event will take place on October 22 in Launceston’s Dicky Whites lane, and is a colloboration between Stompin and the City of Launceston Youth Advisory Group.

Organiser Claire Johnston said the event celebrated the creativity of young people in the arts, and the engaging contribution they made to the Launceston community.

“Celebrating the arts as a really positive way to do some good things for yourself and your own mental wellbeing,” Miss Johnston added.

With Tasmania’s recent results in the Australian Youth Development Index, Miss Johnston said it was important to foster the supportive relationship among Launceston’s young people, and their access to mental health services.

“(The index) showed that Tasmania was the worst state in terms of a diminishing mental health and wellbeing,” she said.

“We have the highest suicide rate for young people in the nation (per capita).

“Personally, I’m in the young person age group, and as a 24-year-old, I have had one suicide in my network in the last month.

“(It’s) important to be saying ‘yes, we are a supportive community’, and encourage young people to be supporting each other. But also to get mental health services involved because we can care for ourselves, but we can also seek help.”

It’s a sentiment that is echoed across the young people involved. City of Launceston Youth Development Officer Claudia Garwood said the Youth Advisory Group was proud to be involved in making the event happen because of the seriousness of the issue.

Stompin member Hannah Nichols said the dance company’s network was a strong one, which made it easier for its members to notice when something “isn’t right”.

“We’ve all erred on the side of not feeling great sometimes,” she said.

Creative Young Minds starts at 10am on Saturday, closes with live music from 5.45pm. For more information, find the event on Facebook.

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