Mental Health Initiative

Cover Page for Supporting Youth through mental health initiatives report. Image features the title and watercolour paintings of orange and green leaves Improving access to mental health resources and services for young English-speaking Quebecers

ELAN’s ArtEd team is excited to announce the third year of our 3-year Mental Health Initiative! Funded by CHSSN, The goal of the initiative is to better equip Teaching Artists with skills and knowledge of mental health resources and services available in Quebec so that they may better meet the needs of participants. Artists working with children and pre-teens (ages 5-14), youth (ages 15-29) and older adults (55+) are invited to participate in paid professional development. Interested? To apply, complete this application form by September 22, 2023 at 5 p.m. or contact Louise Campbell at for details.

ELAN ArtEd’s 2022-23 Youth Mental Health Initiative engaged with:

→ 35 Teaching Artists

→ +125 school and community organizations

→ +5700 people of all ages

Teaching Artist and Social Worker Alyssa Kuzmarov facilitated the Youth Mental Health community from 2021-22. As Alyssa writes, professional development of this kind:

“… provide[s] a space for Teaching Artists to share their experiences, cultivate new skills and explore challenging issues and behaviors they may encounter in the classrooms. As Teaching Artists, we are often alone, carrying deep emotional experiences the youth share with us or dealing with conflicts or complicated group dynamics. This is a very meaningful part of our work and yet it is vital to have a space to process those experiences, and to explore enhanced ways of responding to youth… These workshops create a community for Teaching Artists so that we can support each other to learn and grow in our work with youth and as artists.”

The potential for Art Education to support Mental Health at all ages is more pertinent now than ever before. As Dr. Tiina Kukkonen writes,

“The arts have a history of helping youth and communities heal after crises and disasters and will most certainly have a restorative role to play as we begin to adjust to post-pandemic life… Whether in-person or online, children and youth have benefited not only from the artistic expertise of artists, but also from their ability to create learning environments that are inclusive, collaborative, and most of all, fun.” (Supporting Youth Mental Health In And Through The Arts).

Logo for Secretariat a la jeunesse Quebec. logo image features the text and the blue and white flag of quebec CHSSN logo. Logo features the letters CHSSN in orange and blue on a white background