DRASTIC is a peer-driven therapeutic creative arts and life skills program, which utilises peer support for youth 10-25 years. DRASTIC is facilitated by skilled professionals and youth-trained as peer support leaders. It is a program, which achieves exceptional outcomes with complex needs including, mental health issues, substance use, and youth engaged with the Juvenile Justice system and or outside of the education system. DRASTIC is delivered under a Trauma informed framework and develops strengths and skills within youth, which enables them to discuss issues, develop and experiment with new skills as well as create artworks and achieve significant personal outcomes. Throughout the program peer support leaders share their stories, this instils participants the courage and opportunity to share their own personal stories and promote self-determined change.

DRASTIC provides a range of activities depending on Young people’s interests including: Street art, Theatre Workshopping, Screen-printing, Visual Arts, Sculpting, Crafts, Circus, Cooking, Multi-media Photography, Hair and Stage makeup, Sports, Music, Drumming, Singing, Dance, Aboriginal Art and Cultural activities.


  1. A space where we get creative and talk
  2. A Space to talk about the BIG and SMALL stuff on our Minds
  3. A Space where older youth we call peers who have been in DRASTIC for a while and have overcome some hard life challenges give back by sharing stories and making friendships
  4. A Space where Youth workers and Young people become equals and participate together to create awesome outcomes socially, personally and artistically
  5. A Space where we can be leaders – After a few DRASTIC programs, when we have achieved our goals we can become Peer leaders and work on DRASTIC to support others to participate.


  1. to raise awareness of the role art, culture and community connection play as a pathway to health and wellbeing
  2. to collaborate with marginalised youth as artists to produce artistic product that challenges the dominant value systems that oppress some individuals/groups
  3. to provide sustainable opportunities and experiences for individuals to make self-determined positive change in their lives and community
  4. to encourage and support people who experience mental health problems and/or mental illness to stay in the community, out of hospital and live a meaningful life.
  5. to provide integrated therapeutic practices within the arts and community health sector
  6. to create opportunities for young people and their families suffering socio-economic disadvantage in Australia to engage with the broader community and improve their quality of life
  7. to establish and maintain partnerships with community groups in regions suffering socio-economic disadvantage to facilitate the company’s objects


  1. Improved motivation for self-development
  2. Decrease Social Anxiety
  3. Greater community connection
  4. Improved employability skills or general life skills
  5. Increased ability for positive socialising
  6. Increased coping strategies
  7. Re-engagement in education
  8. An enhanced capacity of young people to support their peers around relating issues inc mental health and current drug and alcohol knowledge.

(As reported by Referrers and Participants, 2014).