The need to include mental health among the priorities of the public health agenda has been increasingly recognized by the European Union since the launch of the Commission’s
Green Paper on Improving Mental Health in 2005. This recognition is based on the growing evidence and awareness about the magnitude of mental health problems in European
countries: mental disorders are highly prevalent in Europe and impose a heavy toll on individuals, society and the economy, representing a significant share of the EU’s burden of
disability (European Framework for Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing, 2016). Creative art therapy activities, can be immensely valuable for persons living with or recovering from
mental health problems as it helps to express and interpret their experience, rebuild confidence and develop new skills.
Even though there is a wealth of innovative arts and mental health projects around to inspire us, their use is still limited and often misunderstood. Studies are often small and in conclusive, so further research is needed to explore how and when art therapy may be most beneficial
by visual arts with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of millions of Europeans living with psychiatric disorders
The Art4Me project links mental health and art and aims to create a new, unique opportunity to provide a new platform for knowledge sharing across borders and stakeholders, and a pathway for better empowerment for citizens with or at risk of having mental health challenges. A long-range of new tools to tackle mental health is therefore needed. While art and creative expression has been a core fixture of European culture for millennia, the use of art as a tool for mental health has been scarcely mapped and experiences often not shared.
The project aims to: