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Young people will help create an ‘online museum’ as a way of improving their mental health, as part of a new and ground-breaking £2.61m research project.

Young people looking at art in the Ashmolean Museum © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

The project, known as ORIGIN (Optimising cultural expeRIences for mental health in underrepresented younG people onlINe), is hosted by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, led by researchers from Oxford University and funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

It will run from 2023-2028 and is a collaboration between NHS Trusts, UK universities, and is partnered by museums and charities. The study involves diverse young people aged 16-24 co-designing an online arts and culture intervention aimed at reducing anxiety and depression.

Its effectiveness will then be tested in a trial of nearly 1,500 young people, including some of the most underrepresented young people, specifically LGBTQ+ and autistic young people, ethnic minorities and those who live in some of the most deprived areas of the UK, including Cornwall, Liverpool, Sheffield and Blackpool and those on NHS waiting lists for mental health support.

Read the full story on the Department of Psychiatry website