Pictured (from left) following the announcement of €30,000 in funding for a ‘Young People and Creative Arts Therapies’ project are Kim Doherty, Artist Facilitator; Catríona O’Reilly, Cavan County Council Arts Officer; Eóin Doyle, Director of Service and Narissa Cosgrove, Cavan County Council Arts Office.PHOTO: Adrian Donohoe

€30K in funding for youth art therapy project

It is hoped funding of €30,000 for local creative arts therapies will have tangible benefits for the participating young people.

The Young People and Creative Arts Therapies project aims to support young people attending child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), who can struggle in the school environment. This is reflected in absenteeism, relationship struggles with peers and teachers, and unrealised potential.

The project focuses on supporting young people in personal growth and self-advocacy using creative arts therapies. This will complement the talk therapy offered by CAMHS.

The funding was secured by Cavan County Council through the Public Service Innovation Fund, and the project will be delivered in collaboration with the HSE Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Mental Health Ireland.

“This project will allow us to engage three artists and an art therapist working in co-production with CAMHS and Mental Health Ireland to support emotional awareness and personal growth for the young people,” explained Cavan County Council Arts Officer, Catríona O’Reilly. “The art therapist, along with an evaluator, will gather the data, support best practice, reflect on, and share the learning with the partners.”

A parallel arts-based programme will be produced for teachers to support young people to self-advocate in the school environment.

“I have seen first hand the positive effect of young people exploring their creativity through working with professional artists with the support of parents, health and education professionals," said Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, Sarah O'Reilly in welcoming the funding. "The work of this project will further embed innovative thinking in the minds of all involved, and lead to positive health outcomes, and I look forward to seeing the results of the shared learning.”

Eoin Doyle Director of Service commended the work of the arts officer Catriona O'Reilly and her staff in securing funding for this important project.

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