Dramatic Minds Festival Puts Mental Health In The Spotlight

Written by: The Griffith Phoenix


High school students from across the region participated in the 2023 Dramatic Minds Festival, held online on the 3rd of November.

After 13 years of face-to-face events, the Festival moved online to make it more accessible to schools across the Murrumbidgee Local Health District’s (MLHD) vast footprint.

Students had spent months researching and preparing a variety of creative presentations for the Festival.

The presentations included drama, short films, dance and artworks and explored mental health, alcohol and other drug topics from the perspective of the students.

The District Clinical Leader for MLHD School Link, John Dean worked with students from across the MLHD to produce creative expressions of mental wellbeing, mental illness and related topics.

“The Dramatic Minds Festival started in the region in 2009 and continues to be an excellent way for students to better understand mental health problems and then communicate this to their peers, teachers and local communities,” Mr Dean said.

“The last few years have been particularly challenging times for young people, and we see increased numbers seeking help.

“The entries submitted already demonstrate that students continue to find the festival is a great way for them to express these challenges.”

While competition is not the primary focus, the entries will be judged and prizes awarded.

Judges look at the artistic merit of the presentation, the standard of the comment on mental health, and the impact from the point of view of someone who has had a lived experience of mental illness.

This year, Ardlethan Central School, Ariah Park Central School, Narrandera High School, West Wyalong High School, Temora High School, Murrumburrah High School, Deniliquin High School, Kooringal High School and Wagga Wagga Christian College participated in this year’s festival.

“The contribution of teachers from each of the participating schools continues to be the primary driver behind the success of the Dramatic Minds Festival,” Mr Dean said.

“They have contributed long hours and advice in helping students develop their presentations.”

The 2023 Dramatic Minds Festival was hosted by MLHD’s School Link program and sponsored by the Temora Community Drug Action Team.

If you or someone you know is struggling with your mental health or excessive use of drugs or alcohol, speak to your GP or phone the MLHD Accessline on 1800 800 944 to arrange local support.

If a life is in danger, call 000 or head straight to your nearest emergency department.

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