Weaving a Web

ByTom Bailey

Weaving a Web

A few of us met recently to start thinking about what would appear in the “creativity and mental health” section of the MindWell site. MindWell is the new site that give people all the information they need about mental health in Leeds. And we’re helping them with the artsy bit. Here’s a flavour of the discussions we had….

What do we want the content to say (ie key messages)?

  • Being creative is good for your mental health. It can:
    • Help you relax and can be soothing – a release from everyday worries and stresses.
    • Be a way of expressing yourself (in a special way that may not be possible in everyday conversation).
    • Be joyful and lift your mood – releasing ‘happy endorphins’.
    • Help you meet people who are like-minded and have had similar experiences – peer support.
    • Be empowering and create a sense of identity.
    • Boost your self-esteem – taking part can help you realise that you can do wonderful things.
    • Give you new purpose, meaning and direction – some people even describe it as ‘life-changing’.
    • Also be challenging and difficult but creating something can feel amazing.
  • Creativity is for everyone of any age or ability.
  • It’s accessible to all (need to consider people who may have access issues and may find it difficult to get out of the house).
  • It’s not only taking part – experiencing the work of other people can be inspiring, relaxing and help boost your mood.

What do we want the web page to do?

  • Showcase and celebrate the activities and work going on in Leeds.
  • Act as an access point or ‘hub’ to find information
  • Inspire people to take a first step in taking part – get them to try something new.
  • Reassure people who may feel anxious about joining a group, that they will be welcomed and made to feel safe and supported.

What content do we want?

  • Video clips of creative work.
  • Images of artwork by local artists (and poetry).
  • A ‘straight talk’ animation.
  • ‘Virtual performances’ (ie Chapel FM).
  • ‘Background’ landing page?

What do we want the page to look like?

Dynamic! Needs sound, colour, movement, performance, energy etc

Two sections:

What can I do now? – ideas of things you can do now to boost your mood and help you relax.

How can I take part? Groups, societies and projects in the city.

Content also needs to surface in different places in the site:

  • GPs section (needs to be evidence-based – ‘prescribing art’
  • News feed – what’s happening?
  • Employers’ section.
  • I am concerned about someone
  • Anxiety and depression etc

So, as you can see we talked about a lot. But there’s more to decide and we need your help! If you’re reading this you probably have something to say about creativity and mental health. Email us. Let us know what YOU want the MindWell creativity page to look like. We’ll have another meet-up soon, which we’ll publicise when it’s confirmed.

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