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SLaM and partners at Tate Exchange: Art in Mind

SLaM and partners at Tate Exchange: Art in Mind  explored how mental-health related stigma and prejudice could be reduced by facilitating creative inter-group contact between service-user artists and visitors to Tate Modern.



Photo by  Malcolm BanthorpeTate

In a series of workshops, talks, film and art screenings, visitors to Tate Exchange were invited to listen to, interact with, and co-create with mental health service-user artists. Participants were invited to feed back on the ways in which their contact with the service-user artist had challenged previously held misconceptions relating to mental health, and a series of artist-led workshops considered other ways in which art and inter-group contact might successfully oppose stigmas associated with mental ill health.

Stigma and prejudice relating to mental health have been found to have negative impacts on people living with mental health issues. Evidence shows that facilitating contact between those living with and without lived experience is one of the most effective strategies for reducing prejudice and stigma. Programmes that create common goals, encourage intergroup cooperation and inspire friendship between these two groups are needed to promote empathy, enhance knowledge and challenge common stereotypes of people with mental health problems.

Art in Mind at Tate Exchange  provided evidence to support the use of art as a medium for facilitating contact between groups, reducing stigma and improving social interactions between people with and without mental health problems.

The project found that 96 per cent of those who took part in the sessions found it easier to empathise with the experience of a mental health problem as a result, with 70 per cent reporting that the programme challenged common stereotypes about people with experiences of a mental health issue.

The project has informed future research on the effectiveness of inter-group contact for reducing mental health stigmas and prejudices, and has developed methodologies for service-user involvement and participatory methods in mental health research. 





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