Vox pop | How are you supporting young people’s mental health? - Museums Association

Vox pop | How are you supporting young people’s mental health?

Three museum professionals tell us about their work during lockdown
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Clodagh Lavelle
Digital museums coordinator, Reimagine, Remake, Replay project, Nerve Centre

“Youth-led steering groups provide opportunities for participants to devise project ideas around issues they care about. For the Reimagine Remake Replay project, acting fast was key, so participants didn’t lose heart. The team launched online programmes within two weeks of the first lockdown. In October, young people curated our first mental health festival, which included workshops and talks by artists and psychologists. Weekly drop-in sessions provide space for young people to create, chat and connect.”

Lisa Shames
Senior learning manager, Jewish Museum London

“We focus on how we can use our historical collection to connect people to contemporary topics. Our new programme uses our established skills for teaching Holocaust education to open up a wider dialogue about grief and loss, which many young people are experiencing for the first time. Our facilitators provide creative reflection techniques to help process difficult emotions, and object-based learning that recognises how touch generates memories.”

Esther Amis-Hughes
Youth engagement officer, Leeds City Museum

“Our young volunteers said the social aspect of Zoom calls, regular check-ins and being able to work on projects had reduced their feelings of isolation during lockdown. Before the pandemic, I would have worried that wellbeing calls about Netflix had nothing to do with ‘museum work’. But looking after everyone’s mental health has enabled the group to become more involved in their museum, making new community connections and curating displays remotely.”

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