Published 22.09.2014
by Kids’ Own

Artist and writer announced for children’s mental health book project

This autumn, Kids’ Own, in partnership with the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and the Psychology Service (PCCC) in Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan, will lead a collaborative book project with young people in County Sligo exploring mental health and promoting children’s wellbeing. Funded through the Mental Health Services, HSE Northwest, this project will result in the creation of a brand new book publication for nationwide distribution. We are happy to announce that artist Vanya Lambrecht Ward and writer Lisa Vandegrift Davala have been chosen to facilitate the project.

The “I have, I am, I can…” book project will engage 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 project will also engage school children at St.Edward’s National School on a weekly basis over the same time period.

“I have, I am, I can…”

How are children and young people affected by a depressed society? What are their coping strategies within their daily lives? And how should they be supported to develop as resilient individuals? This project aims 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, through a creative process that supports their integrity as individuals, builds self-esteem, challenges, excites and informs them about themselves and each other
  • Promote and celebrate children’s wellbeing and build mental health awareness at local and national level
  • Give status and visibility to children’s art work and writing through a new publication that gives voice to the interests, challenges and needs of children living in Ireland.

About the artists

Lisa Vandegrift Davala

Back Cameraforpeace2hires Lisa Vandegrift Davala







Lisa Vandegrift Davala is a writer, filmmaker and visual artist. A large part of her work has been devoted to Artist’s Illustrated Books.  Currently she is in pre-production with a feature length documentary. In 2010 she directed, wrote and scored the short film  “…for peace comes dropping slow…” (nominated Best Irish Short, Foyle Film Fest 2010, Runner Up, Best Experimental Film, Corona Fastnet Short Film Fest, 2011, nominated Best Short at New Hope Film Fest, USA 2011, Honourable Mention, Best International Short Film, Jakarta, 2012, nominated Shortlist ShortFest, Bray, 2012, and nominated for the 30 Minute Film Fest, Galway Fleadh, 2013). Lisa also developed and presented two large-scale public light installations during Culture Night Sligo, 2009 and 2010. Each was created in a single night with 800-1200 members of the public (all ages) and a team of artists, photographers and filmmakers, (SLIGLOW, and SLIGLOW2).

Vanya Lambrecht Ward

Vanya Lambrecht WardArtwork by Vanya Lambrecht Ward







Vanya Lambrecht Ward was born in The Hague, The Netherlands and has been living and working in Ireland since 1996. She initially worked in theatre and television as a designer and stage manager before finishing a degree in fine art in Sligo. In 2010, Vanya graduated with a part-practice part-theory MA in Contemporary Art at NCAD. Her practice combines photography, sculpture, painting and book works. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally. In addition to her own practice, Vanya works in education, health and other community settings as an artist as well as running a small artist book studio.