The Tuggeranong Arts Centre's Messengers Program is an arts based support program for young people who are experiencing signs of anxiety, depression and other mental health and broader issues. The program offers young people aged 10 - 25 a non-clinical group arts program that aims to improve psychosocial wellbeing.
The program teaches young people creative skills across a range of artistic mediums, including visual arts (painting, printmaking), creative arts (writing, filmmaking) and performing arts (dance, theatre). The program employs professional artists and youth support workers, as well as peer mentors, who encourage and support young participants to work through their issues by learning new creative ways to express themselves. Participants are encouraged to approach the challenges they face in school, in their communities and families in creative and more positive ways. Additional one-on-one support is also provided as necessary.
Messengers is a person-centered, strengths-based and evidence-based program. The programs premise is informed by the base of 'Arts for Wellbeing' research. This evidence base suggests that participating in group arts programs improve mental health and social wellbeing among many other positive things.
The wealth of experience gained over 20 years of operation makes the Messengers Program an important part of youth service delivery across the ACT. Messengers encourages artistic skill development and assists young people to re-engage with education and the community through participating in the program.