New campaign encourages creativity amongst Greater Manchester residents to combat lockdown-induced mental health dips
- ‘get creative during covid’ explores the links between creativity and wellness and shows how this can be beneficial for declining mental health during lockdown
- Calls to police and mental health services in Manchester have nearly doubled since lockdown began
- The campaign is run by Manchester Met student, Andrea Maria Petrie who herself has relied on creativity to stay positive during lockdown
The newly launched ‘get creative during covid’ campaign is encouraging Greater Manchester residents to undertake creative projects during lockdown, with the goal of improving their mental health.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic early last year, declining mental health has become an ever-growing concern. According to recent data published by NHS Digital, four in 10 of all sick notes issued by GP’s during lockdown are mental health related. It is also predicted that millions of England’s residents will soon require support for developing mental health issues.
For Manchester alone, multiple news outlets have reported a 42% increase in calls to police and mental health services during lockdown. The Greater Manchester Mental Health Foundation helpline received 2,168 calls in July – rising from1,187 in April.
Taking notice of these statistics, Manchester Met student, Andrea Maria Petrie decided to get proactive and launch the ‘get creative during covid’ campaign.
The campaign taps into the idea that by doing a creative activity, such as knitting, baking or juggling, the mind goes into a meditative state and eases anxious or stressful thoughts, which is something people are experiencing more throughout lockdown.
Speaking to the Northern Quota, 26-year-old Andrea said: "Since lockdown, I find myself feeling mentally lethargic, mainly because I worry about a post-pandemic world.
"However, it’s doing things like photography and writing poetry that have helped keep me sane. These projects keep my mind busy and keep the negative thoughts at bay. After looking into why this is, I found official studies showing clear links between creativity and wellness – these are referenced on the campaign’s social media.
"Greater Manchester have been placed under tough restrictions and it’s clearly taking its toll on the county. I wanted to show people that there are fun ways of easing these negative thoughts".
The campaign has already received support, with Integrative Play and Creative Arts Therapist, Gaina Sanders-Dunbar fully backing the project.
Gaina said: "I think the campaign is absolutely fantastic. It thoroughly explains the concept and knowledge behind the topic. Isolation has been very difficult for people, even those that I would not normally see as having emotional episodes are struggling because of not being able to see others.
"By taking on a creative activity, you get into a state of flow and become completely absorbed in what you’re doing. To be in that mindful state where everything else is completely blocked out and you’re really focused on something is a powerful process.
"You also feel pride at having made or produced something. Using your skills to produce something builds up your resilience and inner strength".
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