Project Description

Around the world, a majority of youth experiencing mental health problems hide or neglect them due to associated public or social stigma. Educational interventions, including arts-based interventions, for youth drawn from the general population have been developed and evaluated to have reduced such stigma in high income countries. However, limited evidence exists in low and middle income settings on interventions that have been effective in reducing stigma. This project aimed to develop and evaluate feasibility, acceptability and impact of a six-week pilot arts-based educational intervention, CREATORS, to reduce stigma associated with mental health among college youth in India. CREATORS stands for Creative Reflection and Expression through Art to Transform Opinions Regarding Stigma.

Participants include CREATORS’ workshop participants (n=124), members of a student audience (n=244) and a control group (n=65). Results from this study are being analysed and written up. The intervention experience demonstrates the potential impact of including youth in developing and delivering mental health education interventions. Minor adaptations to the programme and a future, large-scale trial are envisaged to assess its effectiveness in other settings.

Project Team Members

PI: Shivani Mathur Gaiha, PhD candidate, LSHTM

UK supervisors: Mark Petticrew, Tatiana Salisbury

Project Partners

Colleges participating in this study from Hyderabad, India:

  • Government Degree College, Kukatpally
  • College for Integrated Studies, University of Hyderabad
  • Sri Venkateshwara College of Pharmacy
  • Vivekananda Degree College
  • Badruka College of Commerce and Arts

Community-based organisation and artist partners:

  • Rubaroo
  • Dramatist Anonymous
  • Aakar Art Academy
  • Anybody Can Paint
  • Raasta Studios
  • The Fountainhead counselling services

Images courtesy of Shivani Mathur Gaiha. Copyright © 2014 Shivani Mathur Gaiha and CREATORS Participants. All rights reserved