‘Life in Your Hands’

EastWeb was thrilled to have the opportunity to fund ‘Life in Your Hands’, a project created by ERHMA and implemented at Noble Park ELS.

This project was an exciting opportunity for a group of young people from CALD/refugee backgrounds to participate in a drama project based on the ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ approach, seeking to promote participants sense of well-being and awareness of mental health issues. Eleven students from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Burma, the Philippines, India and Hungary participated, with the project running for 8 weeks, concluding in June with a performance by the young people.

This project filled an essential gap by recognising the myriad barriers that young people from CALD/refugee backgrounds may experience in accessing support for mental health issues, and developing an innovative and supportive project. The project coordinators for ‘Life in Your Hands’ wanted to promote understanding of mental health and the often debilitating stigma around it. The project sought to encourage participants to recognise support networks and access to help for mental health issues, and to better identify symptoms of mental health issues in those around them.

‘Life in Your Hands’ was a creative approach to young people from refugee/CALD backgrounds to tell their stories while learning about what mental health issues are. It not only challenged stigma toward mental health, but it did so in a way that facilitated the creativity of the young people. Through story-telling each week, project participants were encouraged to express themselves and their ideas about mental health in a supportive environment, concluding in a performance at the conclusion of the 8 weeks.