9th Jan 2024
Representation in the Primary Arts Curriculum
Young people’s mental health is an area of growing concern nationally, with increasing attention focusing on evidence of deteriorating wellbeing for the UK’s children and young people. This has been exacerbated by the impacts of Covid- 19.
“The number of young people with a probable mental illness has risen to 1 in 6,
up from 1 in 9”
Princes Trust Tesco Youth Index Report 2021
Evidence also suggests that young people experiencing deprivation are likely to be the most impacted by poor mental health, spotlighting the needs of children and young people in Littlehampton, Bognor Regis and the surrounding areas in particular.
Young people’s mental health and wellbeing in Arun is a priority focus for Artswork alongside the Arun Wellbeing Team and West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board. Since 2020 we have supported a range of projects in partnership with local community and youth groups, schools and strategic partners such as Active Sussex.
In 2020, Arun Inspires, working in partnership with Active Sussex with support from the NHS LCN, commissioned 4 local groups in Arun in 2020 to set up new projects combining creativity and physical activity and measuring their outcomes using robust mental health outcome measures. Groups were led by Sussex Clubs for Young People, Arun Youth Projects, UCanSprayCIO, and Freedom Leisure.
Testimony and date about the first round of commissions can be explored in this short film, produced to record the project’s impact:
This project aimed to support local youth and community organisations to develop their arts skills in using creativity to support young people’s mental health, as a way of developing the local third sector towards readiness for social prescribing for under 18s. We are advocating for this outcome in the District, working in partnership with the National College of Social Prescribing.
As part of this work, we have developed a new resource for arts, community and youth groups in Arun (and beyond) to support fundraising and advocacy for running creative mental health projects by making best use of evidence and data.
In 2021, we commissioned a second round of wellbeing and mental health focused projects for young people in the District.
Going forward, we will be looking to build on these pilot projects, with young people from Arun Youth Council taking the lead on developing and exploring combining physical activity including dance and golf with creative activities like design, music making and large scale mural making to demonstrably improve young people’s wellbeing.
Learn more about Arun Cultural Changemaker by visiting the programme homepage here.
9th Jan 2024