Messengers offers a range of programs for young people and their families including arts-based term programs, holiday programs and parenting seminars. The program is delivered from a range of arts and community venues across the A.C.T. The program has an open referral process and accepts referrals from schools, community organisations, private professionals, parents, carers and young people themselves. Referrals are accepted throughout the year and participants can begin the program at any time.
Messengers offers weekly group arts programs including visual arts, theatre, dance, creative writing, music and more. The program is aimed at young people aged 12 – 25 years, however The program does offer some targeted middle-years programs for young people aged 9 – 13. Messengers is offered to young people who require support for a range of different reasons, predominately those who are experiencing early signs of anxiety, depression, self-harm and other mental health issues. The program aims to improve social and psychological wellbeing and re-connect young people with education and their community. The sessions generally run for two hours each week throughout the school terms. Groups range in size from 8 – 14 participants. Regular attendance for at least 6 months can deliver many benefits for participants.
Messengers employs a team of professionals with a unique skillset in both the arts and youth engagement. Professional artists together with youth support workers provide excellent group work facilitation and encourage participants to approach the challenges they face in creative and positive ways. Artists create fun and engaging projects that develop participants’ creativity, knowledge and practical skills. Youth Support Workers facilitate social cohesion, positive group dynamics and support young people to achieve their goals. Staff can also provide individualized case work where necessary. The program also employs peer mentors, who have been participants of the program and have a demonstrated skills in arts and youth engagement.
Parenting Help Seminars
Messengers also endeavours to support parents, carers and families of participants with a range of free parenting seminars on adolescent mental health. The seminars are facilitated by social workers and school counsellors.
The interactive and dynamic information seminars are offered twice over the year and aim to improve knowledge of adolescent development and mental health and improve confidence in parenting a teenager with mental health issues.
The seminars generally cover:
- Positive communication
- Adolescent development
- Anxiety, depression and self-harm
- Coping strategies