The Big Emerging Minds Summit

Workshop: Creative therapies as a response to self-harm in young people

Led by: Julia Ruppert, Vlad Kolodin, and young lived experience experts from the Creative Therapy to Support Young People Engaged in Self-harm Special Interest Research Group

This workshop explored insights on the potential of creative therapies to address self-harm in young people. The facilitators discussed research and experiences with creative therapy interventions and encouraged discussion surrounding current and potential future treatments for self-harm, future research directions, and thoughts on the viability of introducing these therapies more widely.

Four key messages:
  1. The creative therapies are underexplored as a response to self-harm in young people 
  2. The creative therapies are meaningful, empowering, enjoyable and efficient 
  3. Didactic wellbeing interventions can lose sight of the individual and their needs for meaning, self-empowerment and self-selected expression. In response to the one-size-does-not fit- all challenge of mental wellbeing interventions, creative therapies offer a bespoke and flexible solution. 
  4. As mental illness isn’t a textbook thing and varies from person to person, so too should our interventions. 

This workshop was connected to our Supporting the Supporters research challenge: How can young people, family members, and settings be better enabled to help promote good mental health and prevent and overcome emerging mental health problems? 

Further Resources

Check out these pictures and sketches from the day!

Photos from Oxford Atelier and artwork by Tom Bailey (@tombaileyart).

Workshop Live Tweets

You can read a great thread below from @HazelMarzetti who live-tweeted the workshop.

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