Many people are struggling with isolation and now face a long, hard, lonely winter. Artlift and Your Next Move have joined forces to help adults in Gloucestershire deal with the all-too hidden effects of COVID-19.

A recent survey by Young Minds on the impact of Coronavirus on the mental health of young people reveals a dramatic increase in anxiety and emotional distress. 80% of the young people who took part in the survey say that the virus has made their mental health worse. In fact, people of all ages are facing the worries of an uncertain future and mental health in the UK has deteriorated significantly since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Sketch ‘n Rhyme is a ground-breaking opportunity for people struggling with mental health challenges, like depression and anxiety. Doctors and healthcare professionals in Gloucestershire can now prescribe this course to nurture confidence and skills through creative activities. Participants will be inspired to write their own Hip Hop lyrics and then bring them to life with graffiti – a no-pressure online course with friendly Hip Hop artists JPDL and SLAZ. No experience is needed. JPDL and SLAZ use ‘call and response’ to help participants get their thoughts down in words and then respond the following week with graffiti art. This is a chance for anyone over 18 (including the young at heart) in Gloucestershire to focus on something positive, fun, and uplifting.

‘No one could know how much Artlift helped me carry on…through a very painful, difficult time in my life. It has given me a focus and purpose.’

The arts have the power to break down social and emotional barriers by opening up fresh expression, confidence, and identity. Artlift has one of the country’s longest-running Arts on Prescription programmes. In time for World Mental Health Day on 10 October, Artlift is ideally placed to support the much-needed recovery plan for the nation’s mental health. Over the last ten years, we have gathered the evidence with our partners at the University of Gloucestershire for why art matters. Everyone, whatever their age or background, should have access to a full range of interventions appropriate to their individual interests and needs.

Sketch ‘n Rhyme will run online, every Monday, 6-8pm, 4 January to 8 March 2021. Places are limited. Anyone in need of a lift and registered with a doctor in Gloucestershire needs to book now with a referral from a GP, Social Prescriber, community or other healthcare professional. Contact 03000 200102 / referrals@artlift.org.

If you are a healthcare professional, find out how to make a referral here.

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