Supporting the mental health of young people through art at the University of Lincoln

A new project will use an innovative arts-based approach to promote mental wellbeing among young people and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funded by UK Research and Innovation through the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the Newton Fund, MAP at home aims to address mental health provision, response and awareness in Rwanda during the pandemic.

Led by Professor Ananda Breed of the University of Lincoln, UK, MAP at home will be integrated into 25 participating schools and local communities across the five provinces of Rwanda, with the aim to reach over 10,000 participants overall.

The project team will examine the potential for providing mental health support and community engagement through interactive online platforms, participatory arts workshops, and communications between young people, educators, cultural artists and psychosocial workers.

MAP at home is a sub-project of the successful MAP Network Plus which works with young people, educators, artists and policymakers in Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, Indonesia and Nepal to help inform national curricula and youth policy. They recently received £2 million of funding from the GCRF.

Professor Ananda Breed, said: “This is a much-needed project that we hope will bring long-term benefits to the people of Rwanda.

“The support and demand from partners enhance the sustainability and scalability of the project, while our partnership with the Rwanda Biomedical Centre and National Rehabilitation Service will ensure that the interventions are sustainable and can impact the future provision of mental health care on a national scale.”

Albert Mutesa, Secretary General of Rwanda National Commissions for UNESCO, said: “MAP at Home will align much needed psychosocial support with MAP online arts-based workshops to address current COVID-19 related issues. In this way, MAP will be instrumental in addressing some of our current challenges concerning youth engagement and mental health.”

Find out more and keep up to date with the latest news on MAP at home on their website.