Skip to main content

Arts Boost returns for 2024 to support children and young people

1 March 2024

Arts Boost, an award-winning programme designed to reduce feelings of distress and improve mental health through the arts is returning for 2024 for children and young people known to the Hywel Dda University Health Board’s (UHB) Specialist Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (S-CAMHS).

Arts Boost launched in 2022 in response to the growing numbers of children and young people seeking support for their mental health from S-CAMHS.

Now in its third year, the health board is working with three arts partners, Span Arts in Pembrokeshire, People Speak Up in Carmarthenshire, and Small World Theatre in Ceredigion to deliver an artist-led creative mixed media activity called ‘Creative Freestyling’.

The programme is available to children and young people known to Hywel Dda UHB’s S-CAMHS aged 12-17 years old with mild to moderate mental health difficulties across Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.

Angela Lodwick, Assistant Director Mental Health and Learning Disabilities for Hywel Dda UHB said: “It is wonderful to see Arts Boost return for its third year. Over the past two programmes we have found that engaging with creative artist-led creative activities has helped participating children and young people to improve their wellbeing and reduce feelings of distress and develop creative coping skills for life.

“Activities delivered with our art partners help create a safe space to allow for recovery, promote resilience and coping skills and increase a sense of empowerment.

“If you or your child is known to our Specialist Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service, our Arts Boost programme is available to you. For more information or to apply, you can speak to your current primary mental health clinician or contact our lead for psychological therapies SCAMHS, Katie O’Shea on 01267 674450.”

Arts Boost is based on the growing body of evidence that shows that the arts have a key role to play in healthcare, especially in improving wellbeing, self-confidence, self-esteem and self-expression and is part of the national Arts and Minds programme, funded by the Baring Foundation and the Arts Council of Wales.