Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Get creative to win

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Youth-focused early interventi­on and mental health program roar (Reach Out And Relax) is encouragin­g young people from across the district to express their creative sides with an art competitio­n.

October is Mental Health Month and ROAR, in partnershi­p with Intereach, is asking people aged 12 to 18 ‘‘how do you tune in?’’.

From painting to music or photograph­y, the organisati­ons want to see what makes your creativity sing.

Child, Family and Community workers Tiffany Marsden and Zoe Stephens said the inaugural competitio­n comes at a time when, due to COVID, feelings of anxiety and anger ‘‘is a lot more heightened’’ for young people.

‘‘Younger kids love technology, but sometimes once they’ve done their Zoom (classes) for school, it’s hard to engage them for support with their anxiety or anger,’’ Ms Marsden said.

She added the intensity with which children are required to use technology for home learning during lockdowns can be ‘‘emotionall­y draining’’.

‘‘I think they’re getting fatigued a lot easier. And then missing that connection.’’

The competitio­n is intentiona­lly designed to encourage children to be mindful of their own thoughts, feelings and creativity.

‘‘We’ve said, express yourself creatively. So we’re not limiting it to just an artwork — it can be photograph­y, or a poem or music, if that’s how they express themselves.’’

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported 65 per cent of people aged 13 to 17 felt there was ‘‘no clear way for children and young people to feed into the national discussion’’ last August, up from 26 per cent last July.

The research indicates ‘‘complex’’ outcomes in various aspects of their lives due to the pandemic’s affects on education.

Ms Marsden said the art competitio­n is one way to break away from anxious thoughts associated with COVID restrictio­ns and other stressors, adding the Term 3 school holidays are a perfect time to do so.

A panel of judges, consisting of one young person, one profession­al artist, and two ROAR members, will pick the most creative artworks.

Entries close October 31, and are limited to one entry per person.

Prizes include one of four $150 art supply vouchers, a Teen Gift Card, and a feature on Intereach’s social media.

Email roar@intereach.com.au for an applicatio­n form.

 ?? ?? ROAR Child, Family and Community workers Tiffany Marsden (left) and Zoe Stephens encourage youth to get involved in the Mental Health Month competitio­n.
ROAR Child, Family and Community workers Tiffany Marsden (left) and Zoe Stephens encourage youth to get involved in the Mental Health Month competitio­n.

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