The Parent Support Network is a community based organisation that provides support and information to parents for children with a disability. The network provides social groups, workshops and advocacy support for these parents to assist them in caring for their children with a disability.

One of the activities organised by the group is a ten week Art Therapy course, which provides an opportunity for its participants to meet other parents who are caring for children with a disability, as well as being able to express emotion through art.

The launch of the aptly named Coloured Emotions Art Display, is the result of the ten week course and featured paintings, collages and other artworks that were made by the participants. This evening I had the pleasure of launching the exhibition and meeting many of the participants.

As one member stated, ‘art therapy gives me the freedom to express my emotions and unlock deep feelings’. These parents often experience isolation due to work and care commitments and activities like art therapy allow them to share experiences.

Importantly the exhibition also provides an opportunity for parents of children with a disability to demonstrate that they have a voice and they do have needs within the community. These parents often do not see themselves as professional carers and have little available time to advocate on behalf of their needs.

This project provides a voice for these parents and highlights their need for assistance and support. The Parent Support Network Art Therapy course has seen ongoing interest and courses will continue in 2009. Congratulations to each of the participants for their courage in displaying their emotions and for the friendship they have offered each other.

For more information on the Parent Support Network please visit www.psn-emr.com.au.

Alex Makin

Alex Makin

Alex Makin is a councillor for the Mullum Ward in the City of Maroondah. Alex has been a councillor since 2005, representing ratepayers, businesses, community groups and residents. I aim to continue making a difference and welcome any thoughts you may have in regard to life, community and business in Maroondah. Phone: (03) 9870 8202 or 0408 311 645 Email: alex@alexmakin.com.au

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