‘Keeping my mind strong’: enabling children to discuss and explore issues relating to their perceptions of positive mental health through the arts

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The ramifications of mental ill health are enduring andpotentially disabling. This research study focuses on using art to explorechildren’s understanding and awareness of mental health issues.AIMS: To explore the medium of ‘drawing’ as a method of communicationby young people for expressing feelings and thoughts about what keepstheir minds strong and what makes them happy as children.METHOD: Arts-Based Research (ABR) was used as a primary mode ofinquiry to collect data and conduct analysis.SAMPLE: A total of 16 schools participated, with 10 from the primaryschool sector (children aged 5-11), and 6 from the post-primary sector(11+ to 18 years old). A total of 358 posters were submitted.FINDINGS: Emergent themes suggested existence of the awareness ofstigma, which accompanied mental health issues and social isolation. Inaddition perceptions of what makes children happy were also apparent e.g.family and friends. Similarities existed in the relationship between gendersof a similar age group, and some differentiations presented betweenprimary and post-primary educational sectors.IMPLICATIONS: ABR offers children an opportunity to recognise andexpress their feelings. Early identification of a child’s mental healthproblems may enable mental health nurses to engage in early interventionstrategies to promote positive health functioning.
LanguageEnglish
Pages544-567
JournalJournal of Research in Nursing
Volume21
Issue number7
Early online date7 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

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Art
Mental Health
Emotions
Research
Posters
Social Isolation
Age Groups
Nurses
Health

Keywords

  • Arts-Based Research
  • Mental Health
  • Stigma
  • Children
  • Health
  • Promotion

Cite this

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title = "‘Keeping my mind strong’: enabling children to discuss and explore issues relating to their perceptions of positive mental health through the arts",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: The ramifications of mental ill health are enduring andpotentially disabling. This research study focuses on using art to explorechildren’s understanding and awareness of mental health issues.AIMS: To explore the medium of ‘drawing’ as a method of communicationby young people for expressing feelings and thoughts about what keepstheir minds strong and what makes them happy as children.METHOD: Arts-Based Research (ABR) was used as a primary mode ofinquiry to collect data and conduct analysis.SAMPLE: A total of 16 schools participated, with 10 from the primaryschool sector (children aged 5-11), and 6 from the post-primary sector(11+ to 18 years old). A total of 358 posters were submitted.FINDINGS: Emergent themes suggested existence of the awareness ofstigma, which accompanied mental health issues and social isolation. Inaddition perceptions of what makes children happy were also apparent e.g.family and friends. Similarities existed in the relationship between gendersof a similar age group, and some differentiations presented betweenprimary and post-primary educational sectors.IMPLICATIONS: ABR offers children an opportunity to recognise andexpress their feelings. Early identification of a child’s mental healthproblems may enable mental health nurses to engage in early interventionstrategies to promote positive health functioning.",
keywords = "Arts-Based Research, Mental Health, Stigma, Children, Health, Promotion",
author = "Marie O'Neill and K Moore",
note = "Compliant in UIR; evidence uploaded to 'Other files' Reference text: Miles, M.B., Huberman, A.M., (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook. 2nd Edition. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage. Moran, P., Coffey, C., Romaniuk, H., Olsson, C., Borschmann, R., Carlin, J.B., & Patton, G., (2012). The natural history of self-harm from adolescence to young adulthood: A population based cohort study. The Lancet. Vol 379, Issue 9812, 21st Jan 2012, 236-243 Morrison W., Kirby P. (2010). Schools as a Setting for Promoting Positive Mental Health: Better Practices and Perspectives. Joint Consortium for School Health. Accessed from http://eng.jcshcces.ca/upload/PMH{\%}20Better{\%}20Practices{\%}20ISBN{\%}20incl{\%}20{\%}20Aug{\%} 206.pdf. Murphy M and Fonagy P (2012). Mental health problems in children and young people. In: Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer 2012. London: Department of Health. National Archives (2012) Education Staff, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408. http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/worksheets/poster.html Last accessed 15th December 2015. Newell, R and Burnard, P. (2006) Vital notes for nursing research: research for evidencebased practice. Oxford: Blackwell. Northern Ireland Statistical Research Agency, 2011 [NISRA]). Population Statistics. http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp136.htm Last accessed 04 August 2014 Parry-Langdon, N., (Ed), 2008. Three years on: Survey of the development and emotional well-being of children and young people. Newport: Office for National Statistics. www.opsi.gov.uk/click-use/index.htm Last accessed 15th December, 2015. Pink, S, (2001) Doing Visual Ethnography. London: Sage. Prosser, I, (1998) Image Based Research. London: Falmer Press. Punch, K.F. (2006). Developing Effective Research Proposals. 2nd ed. London: Sage Publications Rees, G., Goswami,H., Pople,L., Bradshaw,J.,Keung,A.,Main,G.(2013). The Good Childhood Report, The Children’s Society, 2013. Reisz. (2012), Using Visual Arts to Promote Awareness of Mental Health among Middle School Students. Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) Conference Houston, Saturday April 21, 2012. Silverman D. (2001) Interpreting Qualitative Data: Methods for Analyzing Talk, Text and Interaction, 2nd edn. Sage, London. Stickley T, Hui A. (2012). [Arts In-Reach: taking 'bricks off shoulders' in adult mental health inpatient care.]. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 19(5):402-9. Stewart-Brown SL (2006). What is the evidence on school health promotion in improving health or preventing disease and, specifically what is the effectiveness of the health Nursing promoting schools approach. Copenhagen, WHO Regional Office for Europe’s Health Evidence Network (HEN) Thompson, M., Hooper, C., Laver-Bradbury., Gale C. (2012) Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Theory and Practice. Hodder and Stoughton Ltd. Time to Change (2008). Stigma shout: service user and carer experiences of stigma and discrimination. London: Time to Change United Nations Children’s Fund (2012). Progress for Children: A Report Card on Adolescents (No.10). UNICEF. Available from: http://www.unicef.org/publications/ index_62280.html. Accessed on 24 February 2016. Wikstr{\"o}m, B. M., (2005). Communication via expressive arts: The natural medium of selfexpression for hospitalized children. Paediatric Nursing, 2005, 31(6), 480-485. Young Minds, What’s the Problem? 2014, available from: http://www.youngminds.org.uk/about/whats_the_problem",
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