Western Trust Supports Young People’s Mental Health Campaign13/04/2021
A billboard campaign highlighting the issues of youth mental health across the North West has been launched by The Playhouse, Derry/Londonderry and endorsed by the Western Trust.
Designed by young people taking part in The Playhouse Street Talk Youth Art Project, the billboards display a variety of positive mental health images and slogans and aim to have a positive impact in the area by addressing mental health issues and cyber bullying.
Young artists from Springhill Park Area Residents and Youth Association Strabane and Lincoln Court Youth Club in Derry/Londonderry joined forced to create the images and slogans, with the help of graphic designer Damian O’Hara.
The Spring campaign will see nine separate designs appear on billboards, digital screens and wrapped bus shelters in Derry/Londonderry and Strabane, with each featuring the North West Text-A-Nurse Service number.
The Text-a-Nurse initiative provides young people with a secure and confidential text messaging service direct to a school nurse, who can provide advice and support.
Delivered by the School Nursing Teams and aimed at 11 to 19 year olds, the service allows young people to seek advice about sensitive health issues without the need for a face to face appointment.
The specially trained nurses can provide help and advice on a range of issues including, emotional health and wellbeing, alcohol and drugs, sexual health, bullying and general health issues.
The Playhouse Street Talk is a cross community project that enables young people to use the Arts to address issues relevant to them in their own communities. This includes law, order and policing; understanding the legal system and breaking down barriers between communities are all addressed.
Two youth groups have been participating in the project including Springhill and Lincoln Court in the City.
Western Trust Executive Acting Director of Women & Children’s Services, Tom Cassidy, said:
“It’s fantastic to see an initiative such as this undertaken by young people from within our community which addresses the very real issues of mental health and safety online.
“The billboard designs are both eye catching and impactful and will be an excellent way to communicate these key health messages and to publicise the Text-A-Nurse number to other young people across the North West area.”
Cora Brewster, participant at Springhill Park Area Residents and Youth Association said: “I’m very proud and happy that I had the chance and opportunity to take part I’m even happier to see my drawing up.”
Participant Christopher Quigley said: “It’s great to see our project come to life, [it’s] unreal to even see my name on the board, I didn’t think it would be so good.”
Brian McNamee, Project Co-Ordinator at Springhill Park Area Residents and Youth Association said:
“The project let the young people express freely their creative side to entice information that would be relevant to these topics. We have made a great connection with Lincoln Courts and the young people and look forward to working with them in future.”
Elaine Forde, Head of Engagement at The Playhouse said:
“The project created an opportunity for the young people to talk about those issues that impact upon them the most during lockdown and in their life. The most pressing issues are mental health and bullying.
During the series of workshops the designer encouraged the young people to express their ideas visually using collage to assemble and create images. Using games and creative activities the young people learnt how to create short effective slogans to convey their messages.
The main wish from the young people was to promote positivity and happiness in all communities.”
The project has been funded by Derry City & Strabane District Council Peace IV funding. For more information about The Playhouse Street Talk Youth Art Project visit www.derryplayhouse.co.uk