A toolkit for raising awareness of the impact of covid-19 on adolescents’ mental health: the new result of the European project Arty

The European project ARTY, funded by the Erasmus+ programme, not only promotes the use of art for the processing and management of difficult emotional experiences, but also aims to raise awareness of young people’s mental health and how it has been strongly influenced by the covid-19 pandemic. To this end, the project partnership is launching a set of awareness-raising tools that compose a virtual toolkit useful for understand adolescents’ needs and managing them in the best possible way.

The covid-19 pandemic has caused significant changes in our lives and has had a strong emotional impact on all of us. Adolescents, however, have shown greater sensitivity to these deprivations, as the closure of schools and the inability to cultivate and experience relationships with peers at a critical time in the development of their identity and social selves has had significant psychological effects. For this  reason, the Arty project partnership felt that these effects should not go unnoticed and that public awareness should be raised so that appropriate resources could be deployed to respond to these emerging needs. This led to the idea of creating a toolkit consisting of a document illustrating the impact the pandemic has had on the mental health of European adolescents, drawn up on the basis of information gathered in focus groups involving more than 200 professionals. In addition, infographics and videos were also created covering topics such as the warning signs of psychological distress, how to ask for help, digital art tools for promoting adolescent mental health, establishing action protocols for families and schools, tips for managing stress, anxiety and isolation, and how to organise awareness campaigns. All materials can be downloaded free of charge from the project website www.artyproject.eu  and are available in five languages (English, Spanish, Italian, Romanian and Greek).

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