Greater Forest Lawn

YOUTH ARTS ACTION (South) and WHAT FEEDS US are our primary program in GFL. They are both comprised of youth aged 15-18 who act as creative leaders in their community.

Teens Tackle Mental Health with Art Interventions

Photo Caption: The Youth Arts Action team prepares seed-bombs for Greater Forest Lawn.  

Photo Caption: The Youth Arts Action team prepares seed-bombs for Greater Forest Lawn. 

Our Youth Arts Action team has been hard at work conceiving of their new project for the year. Over the past few months we asked the team “What’s the biggest issue teens face in Greater Forest Lawn?”. We made a list of these issues and through a process of dotocracy (voting with stickers for your top favorites) we eventually ended on youth mental health.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time in through either a family member, friend or colleague. Twenty percent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime. Mental health is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors. And, it doesn’t help that 49 % of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to t see a doctor about this problem.

When it comes to youth, 10-20 % of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder. Today, approximately 5 % of male youth and 12 % of female youth , age 12 to 19, have experienced a major depressive episode.

Youth have a lot on their mind – family, friends, partners, peer pressures, societal pressures, media pressures, school and grades. It’s a lot to deal with. Anxiety and depression are major issues for teens in Canada.

As part of our Youth Arts Action mission to make impact on a certain issue using art, the youth have devised three projects that will bring awareness to youth mental health. 

These projects will include seed bombing Greater Forest Lawn with the idea that growing a green environment helps promote positive mental health; public picnic for mental health awareness; a bus stop flash-party;  and a Zen room design at a local high school. Each of these ideas came from the minds of the youth in Youth Arts Action team. 

Follow us on Facebook (Antyx Community Arts - link below!) to stay tuned for these upcoming events.