Participating in Community Events Have a Very Positive Effect on Mental Health

by Hannah Punitha on  May 22, 2008 at 5:48 PM Mental Health News   - G J E 4
 Participating in Community Events Have a Very Positive Effect on Mental Health
Participating in community events fill local people with pride and a renewed commitment to the city, which ultimately leads to their mental well-being, according to a new research.

In order to identify the positive and negative effects of the cultural events, experts held a number of workshops for Liverpool residents.

They examined the impacts of engaging local people in decision-making processes and meeting individuals from all social and ethnic backgrounds.

Experts found that projects such as 'G-litter', which urged local people and businesses to pick up litter across the city, and 'Four Corners of the City', and in which memories of community life were shared through creative arts, were some of the projects that had a positive impact on mental well-being.

"Issues such as low esteem and lack of motivation can result from inequalities within a community, which we found to have a negative impact on mental well-being. By using culture as a tool to connect different parts of the community, however, people felt valued and encouraged to share their goals," Helen West, from the Mental Well-Being Impact Assessment group at the University of Liverpool, said.

"The study was designed to help local policy makers develop projects that challenged discrimination, inequalities and cultural attitudes. We also identified ways of offering practical support to communities who wanted to be more involved in the city and improve the area in which they lived.

"On the whole, Capital of Culture programmes have had a very positive effect on mental health; negativity towards events and initiatives only arises when communities feel they have not been considered in the development of a scheme. Culture in Liverpool would not be what it is without its people and so it is important to include them at every level," she added.

Source: ANI

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