Online museum project aims to help young people improve mental health

The young people are designing an online art and culture museum as part of a trial to improve mental health.

Around 1,500 young people between the ages of 16 and 24 participate in the Origin project (Optimizing cultural experiences for mental health in underrepresented young people online) at the University of Oxford.

Participants include people from LGBT+ backgrounds, people with autism, people from ethnic minorities, people from deprived areas of the UK and people on NHS waiting lists for mental health support.

The online arts and culture intervention aims to reduce anxiety and depression, the researchers said.

Professor Kam Bhui, from the University of Oxford and co-director of the programme, said: “There is enormous potential for creative and digital methods to authentically capture the experiences of young people and co-design interventions to prevent mental ill-health.

“There is a huge treatment gap that we hope to fill.

“Origin complements other pioneering Department of Psychiatry programs on creative arts as an empowering intervention for young people.”

Dr Rebecca Syed Sheriff, an NHS consultant psychiatrist and senior clinical researcher at Oxford University, who also runs the programme, said: “Most mental health problems start before the age of 25, but young people are the less likely to receive mental health care, with some groups such as ethnic minorities even less likely.

“Much of the support currently offered by health services, such as medication and talk therapy, is inaccessible and unacceptable to many of the young people who need it most.

“Online support can be made more accessible and this exciting project gives us the opportunity to work with diverse youth on their own terms to co-design an intervention that youth engage with and believe in.

“This program could have significant implications for how arts and culture are used to improve future youth mental health in a way that is engaging and accessible to diverse groups.”

Helen Adams, from Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums, who is collaborating on the project, said: “Museums strive to create safe and inclusive spaces both in person and online, but know that many young people don’t always they consider accessible or relevant. people.

“We are really excited to be part of this project to challenge our ways of working and discover more about the ways in which arts and culture can help to enrich and improve the mental health and well-being of young people, potentially fostering the engagement of for life. ”

The £2.61 million research project is being organized by the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).


Leave a Reply