Exhibition to highlight teenage mental health perspectives: Youth Frontiers

In pulling together their Youth Frontier community project, Chloe Black and Avril Blair-Dermody, have been “super impressive”.

YOUTH FRONTIERS: Chloe Black and Avril Blair-Dermody with mentor Mel Symonds.

YOUTH FRONTIERS: Chloe Black and Avril Blair-Dermody with mentor Mel Symonds.

The Singleton High School (SHS) students have taken an “inclusive and relational” approach to ensuring their collaboration shines the spotlight on teenage mental health perspectives. 

This has been a six month undertaking set to culminate in a unique art exhibition at the Singleton Youth Venue on October 26 from 2- 6pm.

From woodwork to a drama piece or a more traditional painting on canvas, any form of artistic expression on the subject will be accepted as from personal experience both girls know being creative is good for your mental health.

They are calling it the ‘TEEN Perspective Exhibition’ which stands for Teenagers Emotional Empathic Network.

Mentor, Mell Symonds, says the pair has done “an incredible amount of work” on the project and she hopes is can become an annual event.

Youth Frontiers is aimed at students in years 8 or 9, who have the capacity to benefit from youth mentoring that focuses on leadership and civic engagement. 

The program gives young people (mentees) an opportunity to build life skills and self-confidence through working collaboratively with their mentors to undertake a community project that makes a positive difference in their local community.

Ms Symonds volunteered to mentor the girls after learning about what they wanted to achieve.

This was a natural fit as she is a trained Gestalt psychotherapist and this type of therapy involves taking a creative approach.

Developed in the 1940’s, it was originally designed as an alternative to conventional psychoanalysis.

Clearly excited and inspired by her mentees enthusiasm,  Ms Symonds has organised for a colleague  from Sydney to come up to the exhibition and facilitate mind mapping sessions  – and to create a living sculpture.

For those interested being a part of the exhibition, the girls will be accepted pieces from October 16-23 which can be dropped off at the Singleton Youth Venue on Pitt Street. 

For more information head to the girls facebook page TEEN@teenmh.


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