This year, Living Words are the lead partner on a Kent-wide project for young people happening throughout 2022. Flux is a programme made up of a series of creative arts interventions that aim to improve the mental health and wellbeing of marginalised children and young people who are at risk of self-harm, worsening mental ill health, and suicide.
The creative interventions are being delivered by a selected group of Kent-based cultural partners (lead partner: Living Words, with The Gulbenkian, The Marlowe, Ideas Test, Community Art Kent), with onsite support/supervision from mental health social and public health experts. Whether it’s a one-day workshop at a school or a six-month project at a local youth hub, every young person involved is working with professional artists, with the opportunity for many to partake in getting a nationally recognised Arts Award, with outcomes, projects, creations, and learnings shared at a large-scale event at a cultural institution in December.
Flux asks you to get creative in whatever you’re interested in, and from whatever ability. Flux believes access to the arts enables young people to be heard and seen, and to see themselves differently, improving their mental health outlook. Flux aims to support young people to feel confident that arts and culture in their home town/city belongs to them, that the institutions and organisations in their town/city are places they feel comfortable accessing, feel seen and represented by, and feel them to be places in which their lives can flourish.
This is part of building a future in which structures and support systems are in place to create and celebrate sustainable, cross, and inter-sector working between arts organisations, and mental health services. Flux would love us all to feel that we live in a county that listens to every member of society, and that the arts, local government, and the NHS, can work in true collaboration – each supporting, and lifting the other up.
Aside from project leading, Living Words is running its own Flux project, working directly with 18-25 LGBTQIA+ people, who are also known as in this case, Living Warriors. Building on the Living Warriors’ Mental Health work done so far, we are now operating out of a specially built area in Folkestone Library for this project to take shape and grow. As we learn from this year’s project members, we will run 6-week projects followed by workshops that support members’ further creative engagement in putting their words out to the world via film, song, and spoken word.
To reach the Flux website, or for further information, click here.