In April this year we are running the FIRST camp for LGBTIQ Young People in South Australia.
LGBTIQ young people continue to face discrimination, in all areas of life, with 80% of homophobic abuse happening within school settings. The mean age of first suicide attempt (rates of which are significantly higher for all LGBTIQ people) is 16, often before coming out. Risks of experiencing mental illness and ongoing mental health challenges are higher across the board for LGBTIQ people as a result of discrimination. But, we also know that where young people experience a sense of belonging and connection to their LGBTIQ peers, those risks decrease dramatically.
We have been working for over 2 years to create safe spaces for young LGBTIQ people including Drop-in services and special events like the Same Sex and Gender Diverse Formal. Our staff and volunteers are LGBTIQ identified and provide peer support as well as role models that can be sorely lacking.
This camp will enable the young people to experience a sense of belonging and uniquely safe space for self expression. The camp is going to run for 5 days and 4 nights with 30 young people between the ages of 12 and 17. We will be running a variety of activities including sport, craft, cultural and educational workshops and art. We are lucky enough to have a talented young local artist from the LGBTIQ community, Azzurro, enthusiastic about facilitating a collaborative painting of a mural with the group across the 5 days of the camp. This would be a unique opportunity for the young people at the camp to be mentored by one of their peers and connect through art.
Azzurro started out his prolific and burgeoning career doing wall art in community services such as Headspace and Onkaparinga Youth. He has produced incredible works across Adelaide and is now excited to run workshops and take on more instructive projects. He is passionate about connecting community through art and we are thrilled to work with him!
Funded by Adelaide (February 2017)