Deniliquin Pastoral Times
Get creative to win
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 email@example.com for an application form.