culture + environment creating health + wellbeing engaged research

Co-created art piece containing reflections on the post-traumatic environmental stress recovery programme

RSF: After the storm

The Research Support Funding scheme supported 13 short (six-month) projects that complemented and extended the Centre’s research themes: Transforming Institutions, Transforming Engagement, Transforming Health across the life course and Transforming Relations.

After the storm: a Mosaic of reflections on rebuilding mental health

In September 2017, a Category 5 hurricane devastated the small Caribbean island of Dominica. Islanders’ mental health remained deeply impacted more than a year after the initial trauma. In July 2019 we explored islanders’ experiences of a novel application of a mental health recovery programme that facilitates artistic expression using broken or discarded objects to overcome mental health challenges after experiencing environmental trauma.



Participants and researchers reflected on the programme’s strengths and challenges in helping to manage their trauma, and on the appropriateness of the program to the local and cultural context.

The engaged research used a “Mosaic” approach (Clarke and Moss 2001), with participants leading the research by reflecting on their experience of the programme using a method they feel most appropriate, e.g. artistically, verbally or via demonstration.


Our research method blended creative artistic expression, environmental sustainability action and recovery from mental health trauma following increasingly common (climate-change related) extreme weather events.

The research output from the reflective session was a “Treasures after the storm” mobile, co-created by participants and the researcher, with excerpts from participants reflections captured within the collaborative art piece. We sought to gather perspectives on the inclusiveness of the programme for participants’ gender, socio-economic background, culture and age.

Co-created art piece containing reflections on the post-traumatic environmental stress recovery programme.

The data captured in this research will be used to inform future delivery of the post-traumatic stress recovery programme in the wake of environmental disasters, in the Dominica community and beyond in the wider Caribbean. The researchers also see the benefit of implementing the programme across the globe, and are now exploring opportunities for this in South East Asia.




Project Partners

Jacqualyn Eales, in partnership with Operation Wallacea


Bastardo, Y. M., & Mendoza, F. J. (2016). Socioeconomic Status, Quality Of Life, Depression And Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder In College Students. Value in Health, 19(3), A191-A192.

Clark, A., & Moss, P. (2001). Listening to young children: The Mosaic Approach. London: National Children’s Bureau and Joseph Rowntree Foundation

IPCC (2013) Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 1535 pp, doi:10.1017/CBO9781107415324.

Leichner, A., Kale, P and Bhaird, C. (2017). Strengthening the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Response for Disaster-Affected areas of Dominica. MHIN report. Accessed 27th August 2018

FAO STAT report on Dominica. Accessed 27th August 2018

Jarl, J., Cantor-Graae, E., Chak, T., Sunbaunat, K., & Larsson, C. A. (2015). Trauma and poor mental health in relation to economic status: The case of Cambodia 35 years laterPloS One, 10(8), e0136410.

Peaced Together Report 2018. Accessed 27th August 2018

World Bank Report on Dominica. Accessed 27th August 2018

World Health Organization/Ministry of Health, the Commonwealth of Dominica (2009) WHO-AIMS Report on Mental Health in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Accessed 27th August 2018


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