independent

Monday 20 August 2018

The mural of the story is...

Skerries youth paint with a purpose in new initiative

Leah McGealy, JP Browne, Deputy Mayor Grainne Maguire and Emily McDermott at the launch of art project between Skerries Youth Support Services and Skerries Community College in Floraville, Skerries
Leah McGealy, JP Browne, Deputy Mayor Grainne Maguire and Emily McDermott at the launch of art project between Skerries Youth Support Services and Skerries Community College in Floraville, Skerries
Launch of art project between Skerries Youth Support Services and Skerries Community College in Floraville, Skerries
Eimear Broderick, Aoife Mellors, Cllr Grainne Maguire and Clarissa Walser at theLaunch of art project between Skerries Youth Support Services and Skerries Community College in Floraville

John Manning

Young people in Skerries are using their artistic talents to focus attention on promoting positive mental health among the town's youth.

Skerries Youth Support Services (SYSS) and Skerries Community College recently welcomed the new Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Grainne Maguire, to launch the second annual 'Positive Mental Health Promotional Artwork'.

The local community group and secondary school teamed up for the first time in 2017 to promote positive mental health and the popular initiative has returned this summer with the resulting artwork on display in Floraville, Strand Street, Skerries.

The 'Positive Mental Health Promotional Artwork' project focuses on the area of mental health and what mental health means from a young person's perspective. The colourful paintings highlight some of the challenges that young people face today and that although sometimes forgotten or ignored, it is just as important to take care of our mental health as it is our physical health.

One of the artists from Skerries Community College, Gemma Keogh said: 'Our mural is dedicated to teens of the LGBTQ+ community who are learning to accept themselves for who they are. The person in the painting is a non-binary teenager waving the pride flag proudly, whilst standing on a rock which represents their struggle to be where they are today.'

Speaking at the launch, Chairperson of Skerries Youth Support Services, JP Browne said: 'Skerries Youth Support Services is proud to display the wonderful works of art produced by the students of Skerries Community College and would like to thank them for all of their hard work and creativity. We'd also like to thank Ms. Claire Loughran for her assistance. We hope people will drop into Floraville and spend a few minutes taking in these fantastic pieces by young people on mental health.'

Skerries Youth Support Service, SYSS, is a youth-focused community organisation that supports the local young people through the challenges many of them face.

SYSS operates as a beacon for young people and their families in Skerries and surrounding areas by promoting information and services on positive wellbeing, including mental, physical and sexual health, and personal safety.

Central to its purpose is to raise public awareness about mental health and to encourage conversations amongst all generations of the community in an open, honest and trusting way.

Together with the North Dublin Drug and Alcohol Task Force, SYSS are currently in the process of establishing a clinical youth support worker for young people (aged 12 to 18) in Skerries and the surrounding towns.

Fingal Independent

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