We are delighted to report that Scott Thurston has received a major funding award (£180k) from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to develop the Arts for the Blues project, a collaboration with Joanna Omylinska-Thurston (University of Salford and NHS) and Vicky Karkou (Edge Hill University).
The award is entitled: Arts for the Blues: Towards integrating the use of the arts in healthcare and cultural settings to tackle depression and improve wellbeing in the North West of England
This is summary of what we are hoping to acheive:
In this project we will develop a strategy for making the Arts for the Blues intervention easily available to adults and children struggling with depression, low mood or anxiety.
We will therefore ask the question: How can the Arts for the Blues intervention be scaled up for integration within healthcare and cultural organisations to tackle depression and improve wellbeing in communities across the North West of England?
In order to answer this question, we will bring together artists, health professionals, existing networks and partnerships in three events in order to co-create a strategy for making the intervention readily available across the region. We will also offer workshops, focus groups and training to at least one healthcare and one cultural organisation. Throughout the process we will work alongside our Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) group to ensure our target beneficiaries have a voice.
Methodologically, we will adopt a realist evaluation approach which will allow us to develop a strategy that is scalable, sustainable, aligned with systems thinking and promises to offer solutions to long-standing health inequalities in the region and beyond.
Over the lifetime of the project, we will produce an online toolkit to include case examples and training materials, a film with the main findings and user testimonies, and a plan for the integration of this creative form of therapy in different settings.
See here for more information about the overall scheme.
See here for the University of Salford press release.
The Arts for the Blues website is here.