A record 90 entrants are competing in the 2017 WRAD Art in Schools competition.

Students from Camperdown College, Emmanuel College, Mercy Regional College, Brauer College, Timboon P12 and Kings College have entered the competition.

This year’s theme is `The Big Picture of Recovery- a Kaleidoscope of Caring’ in which every student, teacher and school participating comes together to build a bright and beautiful ‘big picture’ of substance misuse recovery –for individuals, families and community.

“It’s about making a difference together,” competition organiser and WRAD Improved Services Coordinator Angela Alexander said.

The competition has a focus on the dual diagnosis of substance use and mental health issues.

The winning entries will be announced at 6pm this Thursday June 1 at the Outlaw Gallery. All artworks will be on display throughout June

“The WRAD Art in Schools Competition provides a unique and powerful opportunity for young people to explore and discuss important subjects which impact on lives and our communities,” Ms Alexander said.

“The school environment creates a ‘safe place’ to bring these topics into an open forum. The feedback from students, teachers and families has been overwhelmingly positive.”

The project has enabled students to share and support each other and understand the complexities of addiction and mental health issues as well as the opportunities and options for support and recovery.

“The benefits are humbling and rewarding- strengthening and building communities through compassionate education and discussion while simultaneously enriching the support and help available to individuals,” Ms Alexander added.

“Together we aim to reduce stigma and raise awareness of recovery as something everyone can strive for; growing the resilience and resources of schools and families.”

Ms Alexander said this year’s competition had attracted a remarkably diverse collection of outstanding, thought provoking and visually inspiring images.

“The quality of the work is remarkable and the rich and reflective artist’s statements accompanying the art give youth a voice and provide a unique opportunity to engage in deeper discussion.”