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07 December 2023

King's lends expertise to new arts and mental health project

Medical Humanities researchers have partnered with Tamasha, a London-based theatre production company, on a new project designed to address ongoing mental health crises using art.


Tamasha has been awarded more than £45,000 over 30 months to develop its new Creative Wellbeing Lab. The lab will recruit theatre practitioners from the global majority and provide them with an opportunity to pilot an arts and wellbeing project in the local community.

Expert tutors from the Medical Humanities department in King’s Centre for Education will have a hand in training the practitioners, guiding them on how to run participatory-based projects focusing on health concerns. The scheme will also allow medical students to learn about and engage with the field of art and health, helping them advocate for arts-based interventions for their patients in the future. Knowledge exchanged during the project will be used to refresh the Medical Humanities curriculum.

The Creative Wellbeing Lab has been funded by The Baring Foundation, and will see King’s, Tamasha and Creative Health Camden combine efforts to support global majority creatives and performers to utilise their own practice to address mental health crises.

Once recruited, participants will engage in practical workshops, training and discussion with industry professionals and have the opportunity to pilot a project in the community.

Within arts and health there a paucity of opportunities for global majority artists to develop and hone their skills as theatre-makers and community facilitators. Given the pattern of mental health diagnoses, it is all the more important that those facilitating in these areas reflect the participation groups.”

Dr Alex Mermikides, D'Oyly Carte Senior Lecturer in Arts and Health

This is a groundbreaking opportunity to collaborate with Tamasha and CHC to create spaces for careful and nurturing learning spaces to redress the lack of representation of global majority artists in Arts and Health settings and to expose medical students to the value of arts-based interventions in mental health care and social prescribing.”

Dr Katharine Low, Senior Lecturer in Performance and Medical Humanities Education

Tamasha is committed to responding to the world around us. As theatremakers we have encountered the mental health crisis unfolding in and out of our rehearsal rooms and organisations and how this is affecting people across the UK and on our own Camden doorstep. As social changemakers it felt necessary that we do what we can to respond to this, in the way we know best – through theatre and connection."

Pooja Ghai, Artistic Director, Tamasha

In this story

Alex Mermikides

D'Oyly Carte Senior Lecturer in Arts and Health

Katharine Low

Senior Lecturer in Performance and Medical Humanities Education