Award for open minds

James Fallon High School student Ben Walther, 16, with (clockwise from bottom left) Robert Anderson, 15, Alexandra McKinnon, 15, Paige Gallagher, 16, Joshua Steele, 16, Adelaide Fitzpatrick, 16, Ayesha Harris-Westman, 15, Grace Connell, 16, Jamie Roberts, 16, Natalie Taylor, 16, and Ryan Milgate, 17. The school was one of four in the region involved in the production of The Dramatic Minds Festival, which has won a top mental health award. Picture: KYLIE ESLER
James Fallon High School student Ben Walther, 16, with (clockwise from bottom left) Robert Anderson, 15, Alexandra McKinnon, 15, Paige Gallagher, 16, Joshua Steele, 16, Adelaide Fitzpatrick, 16, Ayesha Harris-Westman, 15, Grace Connell, 16, Jamie Roberts, 16, Natalie Taylor, 16, and Ryan Milgate, 17. The school was one of four in the region involved in the production of The Dramatic Minds Festival, which has won a top mental health award. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

A DRAMA festival starring students from four Border high schools has received a top mental health award.

The Dramatic Minds Festival was Highly Commended at the inaugural Don Ritchie Awards for Suicide Prevention.

In September last year students from Corowa, James Fallon and Albury high schools and Oaklands Central School created a performance exploring bullying, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, grief, loss and autism.

Natalie Taylor was part of a group of James Fallon students who put on a performance about autism at the HotHouse Theatre.

She said the experience helped her understand how it may feel to be someone living with autism, including famous people such as such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and physicist Albert Einstein.

The award includes a $2000 grant.