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