During Mental Health Awareness Week, we would like to tell you about the launch of a new project, offering visual media workshops for children living with mental health conditions.
Generously funded by Children in Need, the three-year Arts for Health project called Framing our Futures, will help children and young people at Alder Hey who are affected by mental health difficulties. This project will reach a wide range of children, including those whose mental health has been affected by their long-term physical health conditions, older children receiving outpatient mental health support, and children receiving treatment for serious mental health conditions at our inpatient mental health unit.
The first stage of the project is now underway and focuses on photography.
Led by Twin Vision, children and young people will access a series of workshops exploring photography, starting by learning how to take better photos with a mobile phone. This will lead on to workshops in how to make their own pinhole cameras to take images with photographic paper - the first form of photography! The project offers an opportunity for participants to learn about and practice techniques that involve the very beginnings of photography right through to digitally manipulating the images for a final collective exhibition.
Children and young people who will benefit from the project over the next three years include:
- Children and young people aged 5-16 who are experiencing difficulties with their mental health such as depression, anxiety, and trauma as a direct consequence of having a long-term physical health condition.
- Young people aged 14-18 receiving support from our CAMHS service on an outpatient basis. This can include patients being treated for anxiety, attachment difficulties, behaviour problems and depression.
- Children aged 5-13 who are receiving treatment on our inpatient mental health unit.
Due to the stigma attached to mental health, children and young people can often become marginalised and lose confidence and motivation. Their social development can also be affected often making it difficult to form meaningful relationships with their family and peers. Children and young people in these circumstances often find it hard to develop up new skills, which can impact their educational attainment.
Divided into three areas of visual media, the project will give patients the opportunity to get involved with a range of visual media activities which will help children develop new life skills, increase their confidence and self-belief, and to help build positive relationships with their peers and families. These projects are designed to create a community that supports and encourages positive development and helps to build brighter futures for our children and young people.
Thank you to Children in Need for continuing to support us to be there for children and young people when they need us most.
Watch this short film created by young CAMHS patients with our friends at Twin Vision, which premiered at a special event at Tate Liverpool in 2019. Thank you for your generous donations that helped Alder Hey Charity to fund this project.