Youth theatre spaces vital for social reconnection

As young people continue to process their COVID experiences, the role of participatory theatre in mental health safety is brought into new light.
four teenage girls standing in a line reading lines from a play, rehearsing onstage

Anyone who lived through lockdowns with schoolchildren knows how hard the cooped-up living and Zoomed-classes were across the board. But there’s growing evidence that lockdowns had particular impacts on teens and young adults.

The latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey Report published by the University of Melbourne suggests that while young people were among the most resilient during the pandemic’s worst months, the sharpest COVID mental health declines were experienced by those in age groups 15-24 and 25-34 years.

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ArtsHub's Arts Feature Writer Jo Pickup is based in Perth. An arts writer and manager, she has worked as a journalist and broadcaster for media such as the ABC, RTRFM and The West Australian newspaper, contributing media content and commentary on art, culture and design. She has also worked for arts organisations such as Fremantle Arts Centre, STRUT dance, and the Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub of WA, as well as being a sessional arts lecturer at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).