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27th November, 2015

UAL leads unique design project to improve youth mental health

UAL has led a ground-breaking new design project in partnership with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), using art and design to explore young people’s experiences of mental health services and how they can be improved.

UAL Early Lab is a new initiative led by UAL Chair of Communication Design Nick Bell and Camberwell College of Arts BA 3D Design tutor Fabiane Lee-Perrella, giving UAL students the opportunity to collaborate across the University to use design to drive social change.

UAL Early Lab students 

UAL Early Lab’s first project opportunity saw students and academics spend a week working closely alongside NSFT’s clinicians and members of its Youth Council, made up of young service-users in Norfolk and Suffolk, exploring issues around mental health using design techniques such as storyboarding and stop-frame animation.

The UAL team presented its findings to commissioners, stakeholders and voluntary sector groups from across Norfolk. Their recommendations include:

• decentralising and distributing the service across the sparsely populated region

• offering a mobile and pop-up service for the convenience of users – where they are

• connecting to users through a new online platform designed to speak in their voice

• providing information, access to services and youth provisions through the online platform

• creating a seamless, integrated service across health, social care, education and youth justice

• concentrating on prevention, awareness and early intervention, especially in schools

• normalising mental health in schools.


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