What makes children happy? What are their coping strategies within their daily lives? And how should they be supported to develop as resilient individuals?
In autumn 2014, Kids’ Own, in partnership with the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and the Psychology Service (PCCC) in Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan, began a collaborative book project with young people in County Sligo exploring children’s mental health and promoting children’s wellbeing.
Led by artist Vanya Lambrecht Ward and writer Lisa Vandegrift Davala , the Bouncing Away book project engaged children aged 8-12 from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Sligo, and the Psychology Service, Markievicz House, Sligo, over an 8-week period from October to December 2014. The artists also worked with school children at St. Edward’s National School on a weekly basis over the same time period.
The project aimed to address the gap in provision of self-created child/ youth publications about mental health; provide an opportunity for children/ young people engaged in Sligo mental health services to work with professional artists; promote and celebrate children’s wellbeing and build mental health awareness at local and national level; and increase the visibility of children’s art work and writing through a new publication that gives voice to the interests, challenges and needs of children living in Ireland.
Funded through the Mental Health Services, HSE Northwest, this project resulted in the creation of a new publication, Bouncing Away, which is being distributed to schools and libraries nationwide, as well as to mental health services within the HSE in autumn 2015.
The Bouncing Away project was featured as a case study on artsandhealth.ie.