Designing an art and wellbeing programme to help prevent anxiety and depression in schools

Theme Mental health

Workstream Psychological interventions

Status: This project is ongoing

Taking part in art therapy and practising art can help people regulate their emotions and increase their self-esteem. This can make them more resilient to anxiety and depression. Recent studies have demonstrated that creating art and art therapy can have a positive impact on the mental health of children and adolescents as well as adults.

Schools offer a way of delivering art-based programmes to prevent anxiety and depression in young people at scale. However, these types of programmes are often tied to research funding and don’t carry on long-term in school settings. To make art-based school prevention programmes feasible and sustainable, we need to co-develop them with school staff and students.

Project aims:

This project will explore whether it is possible to co-create a successful and sustainable art and wellbeing programme to help prevent anxiety and depression in school students (Year 7s).

We will work with young people, parents, school staff, researchers, charities, art therapists and mental health professionals to:

  • explore current experiences of school staff supporting student mental health
  • assess barriers and facilitators for an art and wellbeing programme in schools
  • co-develop a novel art and wellbeing programme aimed at preventing anxiety and depression in UK secondary schools
  • provide evidence on whether the art and wellbeing programme can be implemented in schools