Magpie Anthology

Elephants in the Room

Photographer Chantal Richards will be showing her Master’s work on Teenage Mental Health in a personal and thought provoking exhibition. 

‘Teenage mental health problems are increasing at an alarming rate in the UK. Whilst 75% of mental illnesses start before a child’s 18th birthday, one in five will be rejected treatment. Current NHS funding is insufficient leading to crisis points of self harm, dropping out of school, violence and suicide. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are at breaking point for increased funding. BBC’s Panorama “Kids in Crisis” has recently explored this shortfall. Charities are calling for help and action through petitions. With this public display, I hope to shine a light on the crisis and give strength to parents in similar situations.

As a mother, using therapeutic photography, I have sought to visualise my own fears in visceral portraits of my son. With mutual consent, we have explored issues of school refusal, anxiety, depression, coping mechanisms, counselling and positive conclusions. And so it is that this photographic project was born. The nature of a creative photographic approach provides a means to translate and evaluate personal experiences…the development of emotional distance…its implications appreciated… and placed in a health context, it has been employed as a valuable method for personal well being assisting the process of therapeutic change’. Documenting mental health explores the invisible and intangible. I have also had to address the expedient issues with documenting my son, but together we wanted address the symptoms and illustrate coping strategies.

Wednesday 14th to the 18th of November
At The London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, London

Further details about the exhibition can be found HERE

You can follow Chantal on Instagram 


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