Mental Health Complaints Commissioner

A different approach to engaging young people

10 April 2017

The Different Faces of Mental Health is an opportunity for young people to create masks symbolising their experience with mental health, and to speak up through a different medium.

During National Youth Week, we took part in the Mind Youth Forum, where young people from Mind Australia’s youth prevention and recovery care services (YPARCs) showcased masks that they had created as part of our project.

Commissioner Lynne Coulson Barr said these masks, and the inspirational messages that the young people shared, demonstrated the important role that art can play in a person’s treatment and recovery.

'This project allows us to take a creative approach to supporting young people in building positive relationships with mental health services, and raising awareness of our role and their right to speak up about their concerns,' Commissioner Coulson Barr said.

In the lead up to Mental Health Week, we aim to engage other youth mental health services in Victoria, with the view to encouraging other young consumers to share their thoughts and feelings through art.

These activities will build on the success of the Different Faces of Mental Health pilot project, which we delivered in 2016.

We will be posting images of a selection of this year’s artwork on our Facebook page, along with the stories that the young people share.

We invite you to visit us at 570 Bourke Street to see the wall of masks from our pilot project, which creates awareness of what we aim to achieve.

For more information about the Different Faces of Mental Health, contact the MHCC’s Senior Education and Engagement Officer, Keir Saltmarsh, on 03 9032 3329 or at Keir.Saltmarsh@mhcc.vic.gov.au.

'It may appear mostly dark and that there's no hope at first thought, but there are bright spots, you just have to look for them.' - youth participant, 2017

'Nothing in life is perfect, we all show different colours.' - youth participant, 2017

A black version of masks showcased at the 2017 Mind Youth Forum 2017 A rainbow selection of masks showcased at the 2017 Mind Youth Forum A selection of masks showcased at the 2017 Mind Youth Forum

A selection of masks showcased at the 2017 Mind Youth Forum