Headspace, the national youth mental health body, kicked off Mental Health Week in Melbourne with a unique art competition to celebrate young people’s hopes and dreams.
Appleton Street Studios in Hawthorn hosted the event with more than 40 pieces of art by people aged 12 to 25 on display.
The Headspace Hawthorn Youth Advisory team came up with a dreamcatcher themed art-show to encourage youth to think positively about hopes and dreams.
Emma Formica, from the Headspace Hawthorn Youth Advisory, said the event was designed to help young people express their thoughts in a positive way.
“The dreamcatcher theme is designed to get them thinking about their life and hopes and dreams, we thought it was a nice theme to have something positive for the future,’’ she said.
Mental Health Week runs from October 4 to October 10 every year; organisations like Beyond Blue and Headspace hosting events throughout the country.
‘’We thought that artists have had many issues with mental health and we thought it was a nice theme to have something positive for the future, and what better way to do that for mental health week than with an art show?’’ Ms Formica said.
Better Health Victoria reports that 1 in 5 Australians have mental health issues with 6.3 per cent of young adults suffering from anxiety and depression. That number that concerns Mohamed Chamas, one of those selected to display his work at the dream catcher competition. He felt honoured to be involved.
Artist Mohamed Chamas with his projected art Triad of Essence.
“I feel like I was glad to be able to share my work and get more exposure; it was a chance to get my name out there as an artist and I’m grateful for that,’’ he said.
The art show was the first event of the year for Headspace Hawthorn, which plans to run at least three more events over the next year.
Headspace has 30 centres in Victoria to encourage youth to participate in its youth advisory panel.
The panel consists of volunteers from within the community who plan events to promote a better understanding of mental health issues.
If you suspect you may have a mental illness, contact Headspace or call 1800 650 890. – Zena Chamas
Photos from the exhibition by Stephanie Alexopoulos.