Secondary Students Mind Their Mental Health
The theme for Mental Health Ireland’s Art & Photography competition for secondary school children was ‘Mind Your Mental Health’. Issues including anxiety, stress, self-harm and depression can be difficult for teenagers to talk about. The feedback from teachers and students has been that his competition opened up a space for the students to think about their own mental health and those around them.
The Exhibition and award ceremony took place in the Dublin City County Office on Wood Quay in Dublin 8 with students and their families travelling from all over Ireland to attend.
The National Art Winner was Lauren McKenna from St Louis Secondary School, Co Monaghan. Her drawing of a woman with butterflies, flowers and positive quotes on a background of black and while is incredibly detailed. The skill used in the drawing was to a very high standard and it stood out immediately.
The National Photography Winner was Willow McConville from Mount Saint Michael Secondary School, Claremorris, Co Mayo. Her photo of the word ‘anxiety’ in the dictionary was different from every other entry. The judges likes this photo as it involved imagination and an issue affecting more and more students.
Provincial winners in the Art Category:
- Connaught: Tara Hannick, Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Mayo
- Munster: Aileen Kent, Presentation Secondary School, Mitchelstown, Co Cork
- Ulster: Kellie McClafferty. Royal Prior and Comprehensive, Co Donegal
- Leinster: Rachel Bennett, Loreto Abbey Dalkey, Co Dublin
Provincial winners in the Photography Category:
- Connaught: Katherine Smith, St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Castlebar, Co Mayo
- Munster: Aoife King, Mercy Secondary School, Tralee, Co Kerry
- Ulster: Nicola Hughes, Largy College, Co Monaghan
- Leinster: Darshan Pokhrel, CBS Synge Street, Co Dublin
Martin Rogan, CEO Mental Health Ireland said “Young people in Ireland have taken a great interest in mental health and this is very obvious from the entries we have received this year. They are not just interested in their own mental health but show interest in supporting others. This competition creates a platform for discussion that provokes and evokes a deeper conversation. The standard of work received was at a very high level in both categories and we are delighted to host our second Exhibition this year to showcase the top 44 entries from the 1,500 received.”
Mental Health Ireland once again had the support of esteemed artist Lisa Butterly in selecting the winning entries and those chosen to feature in the Exhibition. Lisa displayed some of her art alongside the competition winners and gave both National Winners a print of her artwork.
Lisa Butterly said “Art is so important to me. It’s a way for me to express my feelings in my own unique way. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at every single entry into the competition and it was really refreshing to see so much talent and awareness of mental health and wellbeing from teenagers around the country. You don’t need to be experienced to create something magical so I would encourage everyone to just give it a go”.
The National Winners in Art and Photography receive a €250 All4One voucher and the Provincial Winners receive €50 All4One vouchers. The winning pieces and a number of selected entries will appear in Mental Health Ireland’s 2018 calendar.