At the end of two years of intensive work, creation and cooperation, the European Erasmus+ project “Digital art therapy for youth with developing or existing mental health conditions“, better known as ARTY, will come to an end in late July 2023.
The following is an in-depth look at what ARTY leaves as a public legacy to the community, seeing what has been done during the project’s duration as an initial step to increasingly promote the use of digital art techniques as tools to promote adolescents’ well-being and mental health and to ensure continuity and accessibility of mental health services.
THE GUIDE TO DIGITAL ART-THERAPEUTIC ACTIVITIES FOR YOUTH WORKERS AND ORGANISATIONS
The methodological guide addressed to organisations and professionals working in the youth sector includes recommendations, good practices and concrete operational tools useful for structuring and developing online digital art-therapeutic activities to positively affect the psychosocial well-being and mental health of young people affected by the pandemic. The guide is the result of research conducted in each partner country on existing programmes, practices and methodologies aimed at improving the mental health and well-being of young people through the Arts and, in particular, through digital art tools. The consortium also consulted central actors active in the educational, political, cultural and social spheres to find out their views on the availability and potential of digital art tools in working with adolescents, integrating this valuable information with that of the survey mentioned above. Currently, you can consult and download the final version of the ARTY methodological guide in English, Italian, Greek, Spanish and Romanian free of charge directly from the project website via this link: https://artyproject.eu/downloads/.
THE E-LEARNING COURSE FOR PROFESSIONALS WORKING WITH ADOLESCENTS
The ARTY consortium created and developed an updated curriculum for youth workers, psychologists, social workers and professionals working in the youth sector. The objective of the second project outcome was to close gaps in the continuous access to mental health services by young people affected by the pandemic. By using digital art techniques in interventions aimed at adolescents, the beneficiaries of the training programme will be able to offer continuous support to their users, even in cases of social distancing and mobility restrictions. Based on the evidence contained in the methodological guide, the ARTY training programme covers several topics, including the most commonly used digital art techniques, the design and development of online interventions that promote well-being through Arts, an introduction to the ARTY guide, self-care techniques and peer-to-peer support, as well as resources and how to ensure digital access. Currently, you can register for free on the e-learning platform containing the final version of the ARTY training course in English, Italian, Greek, Spanish and Romanian, via this link: https://artyproject.eu/e-courses/.
THE MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS RAISING TOOLKIT AND DIGITAL RESOURCES
The third and last legacy of the ARTY project consists of the Awareness-raising Toolkit, a guide for youth and mental health organisations, families, schools, adolescents and the wider society to be used to inform and raise awareness about the impact of Covid-19 on young people’s mental health. The Toolkit, which is the result of the direct voice of professionals working in the youth sector – and beyond – interviewed by ARTY partners, takes on its significance as a tool to raise awareness in the wider society on the topic of youth mental health. The Toolkit contains a comprehensive picture of the mental condition of young people affected by the pandemic from Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Romania and Italy. In addition to providing innovative suggestionsand practical tools to impact on adolescents’ mental health, it also offers useful resources to inform and raise awareness on this pressing and topical issue. Currently, you can consult and download the final version of the ARTY Awareness Toolkit in English, Italian, Greek, Spanish and Romanian free of charge directly from the project website via this link: https://artyproject.eu/downloads/.
The ARTY project material is now freely accessible and can be used and disseminated. Promoting and impacting the well-being and mental health of adolescents affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, future European citizens, is in our hands! Only by committing ourselves to raising awareness and training on the issue can we hope that one day difficulties of access, continuity of mental health care and stigmatisation for psychopathological disorders will no longer be talked about…
If you use ARTY material, keep us informed by sending an email to the Project Coordinator email@example.com or using the hashtag
#ARTYPROJECT #YOUTHMENTALHEATH #ARTFORMENTALHEALTH
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