Youth, Mental Health and Culture
What is it about?
The third topic of Voices of Culture 2021 – 2023 will generate project ideas and policy recommendations for the cultural and creative sectors and decision-makers on the topic of the role of the cultural and creative sectors in improving mental health of young people.
Why is it important?
More than one in six people across EU countries had a mental health problem in 2016, well before the pandemic. “Mental health problems cover a wide range of illnesses, including disorders such as mild or moderate anxiety and depression, drug and alcohol use disorders, and severe disorders such as severe depression, bipolar disorders, and schizophrenia” (OECD/EU 2018). Mental health problems can be caused or aggravated by behavioural and environmental factors.
Worldwide and in the EU, there are numerous cultural and creative projects that address at different levels the mental health and wellbeing of young people, in terms of promotion, prevention, treatment, and management.
The recent scoping review promoted by WHO acknowledges that the aesthetic and emotional components of arts activities can provide opportunities for emotional expression, emotion regulation – intrinsic to how we manage our mental health – and stress reduction. Evidence is also abundant on the preventive benefits of arts engagement in relation to mental health. The Report shows how playing and listening to music, dancing, art and visiting cultural sites are all associated with stress management and prevention, lower levels of biological stress in daily life and lower daily anxiety. Cultural participation can also help to reduce the risk of developing mental illness such as depression in adolescence. Participating in arts activities can build self-esteem, self-acceptance, confidence, and self-worth, which are protective against mental illness.
How will we do it?
Successful applicants will be invited to a Brainstorming Meeting at Goethe-Institut Brussels on the 04.10.2022 – 05.10.2022 and to a Dialogue Meeting at Goethe-Institut Brussels on the 08.12.2022 to share their input on several areas of discussion:
- Evidence on the contribution of the cultural and creative sectors to improving the mental health and well-being of young people, at national and international level.
- Synergies with other policy fields (health, education, social welfare, etc.) to maximize results.
- Examples of interventions where there is robust evidence of successful outcomes, particularly for disadvantaged young people. Conditions for success of such interventions.
Voices of Culture participants will write a Brainstorming Report after the Brainstorming Meeting. In this report, the results of the discussion between participants at the Brainstorming Meeting will be expressed. This report will then be presented by participants to the European Commission at the Dialogue Meeting.
Please be aware that Voices of Culture is a platform for dialogue between the cultural sector and the European Commission provided by the European Commission. The Voices of Culture team only facilitates this process and is not responsible for writing the Brainstorming Report. This responsibility lies with participants. Voices Of Culture will be covering participant’s travel expenses associated with this topic.
When will it happen?
The Brainstorming meeting for the topic will take place at the Goethe-Institut Brussels on the 04.10.2022 – 05.10.2022.
The Dialogue meeting for this topic will take place at the Goethe-Institut Brussels on the 08.12.2022.
Who can participate?
The call is open to representatives of the cultural and creative sectors and other sectors (professional organisations, cultural institutions, non-governmental organisations, European networks, foundations, private organisations, etc.) with relevant expertise on the topic Youth, Mental Health and Culture who would like to contribute to discussions with the European Commission. Organisations applying must be based in one of the 27 EU Member States.
How to apply?
IMPORTANT: Please read this framework paper by our expert Annalisa Cicerchia before filling in the application. This framework paper will form the basis of the discussion.
Application deadline: 13.07.2022
Announcement of results: 20.07.2022
This Voices Of Culture topic is taking place in the context of the European Year of Youth 2022.