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Posted On: 13th Feb 2014

Drawing on Depression

Fixers setting up installation
Fixers creating artwork
The group next to their drawings

A group of Omagh Fixers are using art to encourage more discussion about teenage depression.

 

Concerned that the topic is still taboo, Nichole McCusker (16) and her team have helped create a picture collage depicting what they think living with a mental health issue is like.

 

‘It’s a subject that’s really close to my heart because I’ve seen how the illness can affect people,’ Nichole explains.

 

‘I remember my friend became a completely different person. She didn’t go out and was like a shadow of herself.

 

‘Sometimes I’d feel like a bad friend because there was nothing I could do.

 

‘Thankfully she’s on the mend now, but I think it’s crucial that those with mental health issues know there’s someone there for them.’

 

The team’s collage of drawings has been turned into an art installation, which is housed at the youth centre they attend.

 

The project aims to raise awareness of teenage depression and encourage people experiencing problems to speak to someone about it.

 

‘We’re really happy with what we’ve created with Fixers,’ explains Nichole.

 

‘From my experience, people with depression don’t always know how best to show what they’re feeling.

 

‘So we thought doing something visual was an ideal way of getting our message across.

 

‘It’s almost as if some people think the condition can’t affect our age group, but it can. So it’s about time we talked about it.’

 

The group now plan on taking the installation around schools and speaking to pupils about mental health.

 

They want to let more youngsters know there is help out there and they shouldn’t suffer alone.

 

Nichole adds: 'It's vital that young people know about these things from an early age, which is why we’re going into schools.

 

‘Depression can affect anybody, so it’s always nice to know somebody out there does care.’

 

 

Scroll down to see photos from the production day and the art installation.

 

Fixer putting up drawings

 

Fixers working on their campaign and art installation

 

Photocopies of the group's artwork raising awareness on depression

 

 

 

Author: N. Farooq

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Fixers is a project of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, and featured on ITV.

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