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mima is to work in collaboration with Youth Speak to tackle images and portrayals of mental health stigma


6 January 2015

Laura Degnan will work with young people on Teesside following a successful bid by the Mental Health Research Group for the prestigious Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence Grant.

 The Mental Health Research Group is a joint Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust and Durham University group based at Durham University’s Stockton campus. The group, in collaboration with mima, has been awarded the Leverhulme Trust artist in residence grant for its mental health research for young people’s Youth Speak programme.

Youth Speak works with young people with mental health experience, either personal experience or as a carer for someone with mental ill health, and young people with no personal experience of mental health illnesses to give young people a voice and skills in mental health research, reduce mental health stigma for young people through research and action and shape research to influence mental health services for young people.

Artist Laura Degnan will work with Youth Speak to bring together young people, clinicians, researchers, and students to identify ways to tackle images and portrayals of mental health stigma.

Lauren Mawn, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Mental Health Research Group and lead applicant on the grant, said “We are thrilled to have been awarded the Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence Grant and look forward to welcoming Laura in January. Laura will work with the young people involved in Youth Speak to support them to get their messages surrounding stigma out, develop their skills and have fun research involvement experiences.We are delighted to have Laura as our resident artist. She brings a great deal of experience and perspectives in working with young people and is exceptionally placed to deliver this ambitious, unique and topical project.”

Our Director, Alistair Hudson, said “mima is so pleased that Laura Degnan has received this award from the Leverhulme Trust. It is vital that mima takes a role in collaborative projects such as this and involves itself in all aspects of civic life – working to make art and artists useful in society. Mental health is one of the most pressing and pervasive issues of our times and this project will make very practical contributions to improving wellbeing in this area. Art has a long history in being used to address issues of mental health and we are proud to have Laura here working in this capacity.”


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