Creative Commissioning for Children & Young People's Mental health

Young people’s mental health is an area of growing concern nationally, with increasing attention focussing 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 children and young people in Littlehampton, Bognor Regis and the surrounding areas in particular.

At the same time there is increasing evidence of the value that creativity can play in
supporting young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

‘Engaging with the arts has a significant part to play in improving physical and
mental health and wellbeing.’

The Inquiry Report, Creative Health: The Arts for Health and
Wellbeing,  All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing 2017

Arun Inspires, working in partnership with Active Sussex and alongside the West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board and 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.

The project aims 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 sector towards readiness for social prescribing extended to under 18s. We are advocating for this outcome in the District, working in partnership with the National College of Social Prescribing.

The projects will also build the evidence base for the impacts of creative activity on young people’s mental health in Arun, and support will be available for groups who wish to continue the work beyond Arun Inspires, to work toward its sustainability in the District.

A further round of commissions will take place in 2021.

As part of the project, we have developed a new resource for arts groups in Arun (and beyond) to use to support their fundraising and advocavy for running creative mental health projects, and report on the work so far.

Learn more about Arun Inspires by visiting the programme homepage here.

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