A young woman, who is concerned by the lack of creative outlets for young people with mental health conditions, is campaigning to gain support from local leaders in her area.
Katie Sowden (21) runs a youth group in her town of Paignton, Devon, which encourages young people to tackle mental health conditions through creativity.
Katie was shocked to see one young female attendee, who has brain damage, severely decline in her self-confidence after another arts group she worked with was closed down.
Now Katie is working with Fixers and Sanctuary Housing to create a series of creative workshops, which bring young people with mental health conditions together to get them expressing themselves through art, drama, or music.
With material from these workshops, Katie will stage a show in front of an audience of local leaders to showcase the talent and creativity of young people in the area, and how further provisions for mental health support would help them tackle their conditions.
‘There has been a real decline in mental health support in the area, which has affected a lot of young people and adults,’ explains Katie.
‘Studies have proven that the arts have a positive effect on people who have mental health conditions as it allows them to integrate with people in a similar position, and encourages them to express themselves.
‘Without support groups and projects, people will lose confidence and feel alone. I hope this campaign will encourage local councillors, MPs, and the general public to see how vital creative mental health support is to the lives of young people.’
The first of the series of creative workshops will be held on Saturday 20th April from 11am – 1pm at Paignton Community College.