Authors: Rebecca Talbot-Male, NSW and Alison Vine, SA,
Event: 2005 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Young People, occupational therapy, arts
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Promoting a positive image of young people with the Mount Gambier and surrounding districts was the key focus of “SEYAT”, an innovative community development project implemented by Rebecca Talbot-Male and Alison Vine, two final year Occupational Therapy Students from the University of South Australia, in early 2004. The area of need was identified as high priority through an in depth needs analysis and reported within the “Lower South East Youth Action Plan, 2003/2004”. The use of art/media expression was identified through a thorough literature review as the preferred medium to meed the aim and need of the project. Participants from 5 high schools across the region were sought with 60 people being actively involved in the project. The participants were encouraged to develop skills including: leadership, group work, and self-expression whilst enhancing the positive image of young people in the region. Over a 3 month period the participants designed, drafted and created artistic innovations including 8 poster designs that were mass produced, 17 A3 mosaics, an indoor mural and outdoor mural and a DVD, all to be displayed throughout the local community. Acting as the driving force of the project were representatives from each school making up the “Project Action Team” who planned and organised the final exhibition where community members were invited to attend Overall, enhancing the positive image of young people is vital to achieving positive mental health, which is an ever-growing issue in Australia and across the world. Empowering young people to stretch their boundaries, reach their goals and achieve great things is highly beneficial as evident in the outcomes of the SEYAT project, and in doing this young people developed the confidence to have a positive voice within their community.