Yvonne Wyroslawska (UK)
Yvonne’s Think Tank will focus on mental health and wellbeing, and the role of Teaching Artistry.
The Think Tank will focus on the role of the Teaching Artist in supporting mental health and wellbeing within the various cohorts and communities we work in. What are we currently doing well? What could we do better? What training needs to be in place for Teaching Artists to feel enabled, informed and supported in this work?
This online session will look at existing research that supports creative arts practice for mental health and wellbeing, and will draw a clear boundary between the work of trained therapists and the work of Teaching Artists. Small group exercises will be used to create dialogue between participants and encourage them to think about the ways in which Teaching Artists can use their skills to benefit mental health and wellbeing. Participants will explore the benefits - and disadvantages - being a Teaching Artist can have on our own mental wellbeing. This session will use a variety of presentation, discussion, and digital resources to provoke participants' thinking on the subject and to gather evidence as to 'where are we now?' in our thinking around mental health and wellbeing as a Teaching Artist community.
The follow-up working group will collaborate and discuss where the current resources and gaps exist in supporting TA mental health and wellbeing (both in ourselves and our participants). The group will collectively determine the way in which they choose to work, but it is likely they will focus on:
- working to establish a code of effective and ethical practice for Teaching Artists with regards to mental health and wellbeing,
- collating existing resources in this area for use by Teaching Artists,
- identifying areas which require further input/research/professional development opportunities, with a view to then developing these opportunities by identifying individuals or organisations who can produce them, and/or securing funding with which to do so.
With mental health problems affecting 1/4 of our population (at least!), and these rates increasing due to COVID, it is timely that Teaching Artists bring this to the forefront.
The outcome of this project will depend on what the group feels is best, but is likely to be something like the creation of a webpage which would allow us to host a code of practice/charter for Teaching Artists with regards to mental health and wellbeing, as well as being an easy-access page for existing resources in this area and for hosting newly developed resources or training opportunities.