Creativity in Mind

Creativity in Mind

A research collaboration with UCL Division of Psychology and Life Sciences exploring the impact of everyday creativity online for people experiencing low mood and anxiety

"Both the qualitative and quantitative data suggest that 'Creativity in Mind' may have a positive impact on wellbeing and mood."

  • In autumn 2018, 64 Million Artists used co-creation practices to produce an online, creativity-based intervention aimed at improving mood and wellbeing
  • UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences researched the participants’ experiences using a mixed methods research design
  • Individuals experiencing low mood and anxiety took part in 30 days of creative challenges, sharing their work and reflections in a facilitated WhatsApp group

What is Creativity in Mind?

CIM is a clinical research project exploring the impact of online creative challenges and peer-support on individuals experiencing low mood and anxiety. Groups of 20 participants took part in online programmes  throughout the months of September, October and November 2018. UCL Division of Psychology and Life Sciences gathered data to assess which aspects of engagement had a positive effect on participants’ wellbeing and mood. The results of this trial have been significant and positive.

 

Who did it involve?

Anyone over 18 could take part if they self-identified as experiencing of low mood and/or anxiety. Participants were required to be a UK resident with a smartphone and access to WhatsApp. They answered a simple questionnaire about their mood and wellbeing before and after the 30 day pilot – and then two months after that. During the month, participants were sent a daily creative challenge to their email inbox. There were asked to do an activity, reflect on how it made them feel and share their experiences with the group. 

 Symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety decreased for participants

 

What was the research design?

UCL’s mixed methods research design involved both quantitative and qualitative data. Participants were assessed using a Depression, Stress and Anxiety Scale (DASS) and the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale. They were questioned before, immediately after, and then two-months post each 30-day pilot. Randomly selected participants were also selected for semi-structured interviews about their experiences and their data was coded for thematic analysis. The research design for Creativity in Mind was approved UCL’s Ethics Research Committee.

 

Results

The UCL results show that the on the DASS (Stress, Depression, Anxiety Scale) participants showed a “significant” decrease in symptoms between the beginning of the pilot and a three-month follow up. On the Warwick-Edinburgh Wellbeing Scale, participants experienced a “clinically meaningful improvement in wellbeing.” The full results will be released in October 2019.

On the Warwick-Edinburgh Wellbeing Scale, participants’ overall wellbeing improved up to 2 months after the pilot
 
The shared experience has given a massive boost to my wellbeing and creative confidence.
Fiona
Creativity in Mind Workshop Participant​
Both the qualitative and quantitative data suggest that CIM may have a positive impact on wellbeing and mood. Further controlled studies are required which focus on the efficacy and acceptability of interventions such as CIM, that utilise creativity and e-mental health.
Dr Rachel H. Tribe, 2019
Trainee Clinical Psychologist, UCL ​

If Creativity in Mind has inspired you to get creative – why not sign up for our national campaign The January Challenge?

Beat the January blues and join thousands of Challengers across the country in 31 days of fun, quick and free creative challenges. Sign up here

To find out more about Creativity in Mind, the results and next steps, please contact Chris Rolls

chris@64millionartists.com

The early stages of this project were funded by Arts Council England.