Free art sessions offered in Washington to help protect youngsters’ mental health
Free arts activity sessions are available to help young people with their mental wellbeing.
Arts Centre Washington and Sunderland Culture are launching the free “arts and wellbeing” sessions, called Creative Me, for young people aged 13 to 18.
The sessions will take place each Tuesday from 5pm to 6.30pm. The first one will take place on November 9. The sessions are supported by the mental health charity Washington Mind.
The weekly sessions are aimed at allowing young people to work with guest artists on a range of different art forms. They are designed to develop creative skills, as well as help manage low level mental health conditions such as anxiety and panic attacks.
Angela Wilson, Young People’s Project lead counsellor at Washington Mind, said: “Young people have consistently reported the positive impact of art and creativity on their mental wellness.
“They instinctively know of its power and its ability to create new spaces in which to think, feel and make sense of our worlds.
“Creativity and the arts are essential for our mental health. They bring us hope, comfort and the possibility of seeing life in a different way.”
Rachel Hamer, young people’s and community producer for Sunderland Culture at Arts Centre Washington said: “The Covid pandemic has been hard on people of all ages and creativity has been an outlet for so many - and a fantastic way to support our health and wellbeing.
“We are excited to start the Creative Me group at supported by Washington Mind and for it to be a space for young people to be creative and supported with their mental health.”
Arts Centre Washington is also running the Washington Youth Theatre, weekly sessions for budding performers to practise and develop their theatre skills, increase confidence, and make new friends.
These are held on Saturdays between 10am and 12pm for the eight to 12 year-olds group; 12.30 pm to 2.30pm for the 13+ age group until December 18.
There are also various arts and performance events at the venue.