ISSN: 20402457
First published in 2010
3 issues per volume
Volume 8 Issue 1
Cover Date: June 2017
Promoting young people’s mental health and well-being through participation in the arts: A mixed-methods service evaluation of the Zinc Arts ArtZone programme
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Authors:  Ceri Wilson And  Darren Sharpe 
DOI: 10.1386/jaah.8.1.39_1

Keywords
arts participation,mental health,mental well-being,participatory arts,social inclusion,young people

Abstract
Arts-for-health initiatives are associated with improvements in mental health, wellbeing and social inclusion; however, research amongst young people is sparse. The aim of the study was to conduct a mixed-methods evaluation of a participatory arts programme for young people with, or at risk of, mental ill health. The Zinc Arts ArtZone programme involved working with individuals aged 11–25 in south-east England, engaging them in arts activities over ten-week courses in community and secure unit settings. 122 course participants completed pre/post measures of mental illness severity and well-being, and 34 participants took part in interviews and focus groups. Mental illness severity significantly decreased and mental well-being significantly increased. Participants reported social and emotional benefits including decreased social isolation and increased social inclusion and mental well-being. Participatory arts interventions may serve as a useful tool in tackling increasing mental ill health amongst young people.
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