A new £600,000 funding programme will improve the health and wellbeing of young people by creating custom-made arts projects which will give a voice to them through drama, music, visual arts and literature.
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Public Health Agency (PHA) are making the joint investment over the next three years, working with a wide range of providers to promote the emotional health and wellbeing of young people. ‘ARTiculate’, the Arts Council’s Young People & Wellbeing Arts Programme, will work in partnership with community organisations to deliver tailored arts projects to groups of young people across Northern Ireland.
The first 15 projects to benefit from the programme were announced at an event at Stormont earlier this week. They include Lisburn YMCA’s The Camel Club, who will receive £12,350 to work with young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder to take part in multiple arts projects, aimed at reducing anxiety and isolation and increasing capacity for engaging in social activity.
While Youth Action Northern Ireland, will receive £12,653 to engage more than 120 young people living in the Causeway Coast and Glens area in drama based activities to explore mental health issues.
The announcement was made at an event at Stormont. Minister for Health, Michelle O’Neill, MLA, endorsed the programme saying: “The arts as a public health resource is beginning to be more widely appreciated, and access to the arts for our young people are now more important than ever.
“The ARTiculate programme, which supports the Protect Life 2 strategy, will challenge issues such as stigma, prejudice and discrimination associated with mental health and wellbeing, which all too many of our young people face every day.”