Arting Health for Impact: South Africa focused on collaborative storytelling and participatory design between three very different but complementary communities of people. The project was focused on mental health.

Youth who use mental health services, clinicians and clinical staff (psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists, clinical nurses and clinical security) and street artists in the Western Cape were engaged in a participatory co-design process. These communities worked together to design a large public mural and a festival that would be hosted by the Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital and spearheaded by the collective of project participants. 

Every person and group of people has both an individual and collective story to share that could inform the collective and participatory design of an engagement project. To foster an active rapport with all participants, an egalitarian structured platform was established. This structure included an overall introduction of the project to interested persons; inception and team-building in order to create a unified participatory space for collaboration; street art and science immersion workshops; learning and sharing workshops and; individual participatory design processes (mural design and festival design). 

The project sought to follow the trajectory of design as led by the collective of participants, for greater impact, relativity and sensitivity. This participatory engagement process resulted in an engagement festival on the premises of the Hospital with an audience of approximately 400 people.

Arting Health for Impact: South Africa was part of an international collaboration public engagement initiative.


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