In April 2019, the GM iTHRIVE team leading the transformation of children’s services in Greater Manchester established the Arts and Mental Health Innovation Programme. The purpose of this blog is to share our first newsletter (follows below), circulated today to GM iTHRIVE’s Community of Practice.
Before I joined the team and with a view to facilitating cross-sector partnerships between the health and cultural sectors, I was preparing myself for the need to temper my enthusiasm, and accept that I would commonly encounter barriers and feel frustrated when doors did not open as easily as we might have liked. However, I am happy to report that 6 months in, this has not been my experience; doors have opened, and usually there are plenty of people standing on the other side, hands outstretched. This is testament to the long history of arts in health – worldwide, in the EU region, and particularly in Manchester. Lime Arts has resided at Manchester Children’s Hospital since 1973, and Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University is the longest established organisation of its sort, with specialism in research, advocacy and development across the UK and internationally.
This week, the WHO launched their report on arts and health: What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being? A scoping review (2019)
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The Arts & Mental Health Edition
Welcome to this special edition of the GM i-THRIVE newsletter, focusing on our Arts & Mental Health Innovation programme.
It’s been six months since Dr Kat Taylor was welcomed to the GM i-THRIVE team to manage the Arts and Mental Health Innovation Programme and some really exciting progress has been made. So it seems like a good time to share a round-up of activities under the programme.
Arts & Mental Health Innovation – a quick explainer
We’re excited to break new ground with our Arts and Culture programme. Working with arts partners in Greater Manchester, we’re helping kick-start some of the changes needed for more flexible, relevant and enjoyable mental health support for young people.
Since April 2019, the team has been working closely with organisations and individuals from the cultural sector to develop a clear vision for innovative and evidence-based partnerships. We have taken significant steps towards understanding current provision, sharing good practice, implementing projects and developing an evaluation framework. Our aim is to continue this work, and begin working with children and young people in the development of arts and mental health programmes.
Dr Kat Taylor is the Programme Lead, you are welcome to contact her for any further info: Katherine.Taylor3@mft.nhs.uk
What is happening in the programme?
GM i-THRIVE in partnership with 42nd Street, Arts Council England and other key stakeholders have established a working party to develop a framework to evaluate our arts and culture programme. The evaluation framework will provide an agreed, standardised means of collecting and reporting on data.
While there have been hundreds of studies on the role of culture and the arts in supporting wellbeing, no standard means of collecting and reporting data and outcomes are in place. We hope to set this standard with the framework, which in turn allows findings from evidence-based practice to have a meaningful impact that commissioners can work with.
The evaluation framework is due to launch in May 2020 at our Arts & Culture Communities of Practice event.
New projects – proof of concept
GM i-THRIVE in partnership with Great Places will fund three pilot projects in CAMH (Child and Adolescent Mental Health) services. These activities, alongside our new evaluation framework, will inform a series of options papers which we hope will help to demonstrate the impact of arts-led options for children and young people. We’ll keep you posted on this project.
We’re collecting information on arts-based provisions in Greater Manchester via two surveys.
If you’re an Arts and Culture organisation working on a mental health project in Greater Manchester, we’d love to hear all about your service: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TM7BJVK
If you’re a CAMHS team/practitioner, we’d love to hear your thoughts on collaborative work with arts and culture organisations: https://forms.gle/EfPVYTFKJiXzXf79A
Please share surveys with any colleagues conducting this type of work.
The survey responses will help us capture the collaborative working of mental health providers and arts and culture organisations, to identify areas of good practice and the areas for development.
Thanks to all who have responded already!
Mental Health Foundation Reporting
Kat Taylor’s 2018 ‘Art Thou Well: Towards creative devolution of mental health in Greater Manchester’ looks at broadening the use of arts for health and wellbeing in the context of GM devolution. The Mental Health Foundation will feature Kat’s work in a series of briefings and webinars in February 2020.
Film from Belle Vue Productions: February 2020
Manchester based film production company Belle Vue Productions will deliver a film on the progress of arts and mental health in GM.
We’ll keep you updated on further details of this event.
Worldwide arts and health updates
Wellcome award on arts and physical/mental health
The award has just been announced to support the world-largest study into the impact of arts on physical and mental health. You can find out more here.
What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being? A scoping review (2019)
The WHO Europe report launched on Monday 11th November: 3500 studies on the role of arts and culture in prevention, management and treatment. You can view the report here.
There is also a supporting fact sheet on the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being.
We’ll be back in touch next month with our regular GM i-THRIVE newsletter, and will continue to keep you up to date on our Arts and Mental Health Programme.
Should you have any queries on the content of the newsletter, or would like to submit content for a future newsletter, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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