Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Teens get to rock and talk to better emotional health

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The therapeutic power of music has long been known, and we're not just talking about the gentle, soothing strains of a harp or pan flute being played next to a babbling brook.

Beating on the skins, shredding guitar and belting out a solo can also do wonders for your mental health, as Taylor Demetrioff can attest.

The 21-year-old frontman of local indie band Waterfront Drive credits music for helping him cope with the symptoms of borderline personality disorder, which he was diagnosed with more than two years ago.

And for the second year in a row, he and his bandmates are helping Winnipeg teens dealing with mood disorders reap the same benefits through the Let It Out Summer Rock Camp, taking place July 9 through Aug. 31. Deadline to register is June 29.

The camp, open to ages 13 to 17, will be offered in four two-week sessions and held at Robert A. Steen Centre in Wolseley. It's a collaboration between Waterfront Drive and the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba (MDAM). Support from the United Way enabled the camp to grow from two to eight weeks this year.

Demetrioff, who is also a youth outreach worker at MDAM, says the camp inspired last year's participants to access resources and support groups the association designed specifically for youth in 2010.

"Most of them are still coming to our weekly youth group, so it's great that it didn't just end with the camp," he says.

Budding rockers will spend their days from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. learning the ins and outs of being in a band.

"The first week they'll be figuring out their band name and band logo and then basically covering someone else's music," Demetrioff explains. "The next week, they're going to write their own song and also work on stage performance and learn what it's like playing a show." Camp ends with a finale concert.

In between all the jamming and composing, participants will learn about and talk about mental health.

You don't have to have a mood disorder to register for summer rock camp. "That being said, there's going to be a lot of talk around mood disorders -- what they are and how to cope," says Demetrioff.

Registration is $50 per two-week camp. Email rockcamp.mdam@gmail.com or phone 786-0987.

carolin.vesely@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 26, 2012 C3

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