Entertaining at last year’s Ellenbrook Arts Youth Exhibition.

Art meets wellbeing for Ellenbrook youth

Ellenbrook Arts says the program is expected to be popular, based on the success of similar programs run in previous years.
June 27, 2024

ELLENBROOK Arts received $75,000 from Healthway and the Department of Local Government to deliver a mental health program for young people and arts educators.
Ellenbrook Arts executive director Gemma Ben-Ary said the program was expected to be extremely popular, based on the success of similar partnered programs run by Ellenbrook Arts in previous years.
Ms Ben-Ary said training arts educators and teaching artists about creative safe environments for their students would contribute to multiple goals of the program.
“This program aims to create environments conducive to good mental wellbeing by training teaching artists and arts educators how to use creative wellbeing tools to better support young people, improve knowledge and skills in children to promote their own wellbeing, and increase opportunities for participation in healthy culture and arts-based activities,” she said.
The program is part of a $600,000 pilot grant shared between eight WA organisations who specialise in delivering programs in the arts. These programs are also expected to further develop an evidence-based teaching model for Healthway and their partners to use across other youth-focussed programs.
Culture and Arts minister David Templeman said the pilot program aligned with feedback from consultations of the WA government’s 10-year vision for culture and the arts in WA’.
Mental Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said the program would provide a valuable opportunity to improve the wellbeing of young people in WA.
“We are using the arts as a way to reach priority communities and provide opportunities to participate in creative activities, no matter what your background,” she said.
The youth-focussed program is a first for Ellenbrook Arts, and Ms Ben-Ary said they were pleased to be involved in delivering an impactful program.
“Ellenbrook Arts has been running similar youth programs like this for many years in partnership with Healthway, Lotterywest, the Department of Local Government and the City of Swan, however this is the first program that focusses solely on arts and wellbeing for young people,’’ Ms Ben-Ary said.
“While we know that art has many benefits for young people and the community, this program specifically addresses the idea that art can be a strategy for mental health.’’
This second part of the program will be run through the newly built City of Swan Youth Centre, and Ms Ben-Ary said it would teach young people various strategies to take care of their mental health through the arts.
Artforms taught in the workshops will range from dance to visual arts classes to filmmaking.
The resulting artworks will be showcased at Ellenbrook Arts’ annual ‘youth exhibition’ next April, and participants from the dance workshops will be invited to perform and showcase their new skills at the opening night event.

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