'Their story is a hard road to hoe': how art-making tackles stigma and builds well-being in young people living regionally

Emma Gentle , Paul Linsley, John Hurley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Remote and regional Australia have comparatively fewer mental health services than their urban counterparts, what is more, mental health remains profoundly stigmatised. This study aims to understand how, if at all, the process of group art-making then publicly displaying the artworks can contribute to stigma reduction for young people (YP) experiencing mental health challenges in regional Australia.

Interviews were conducted with six young artists who use regional mental health services and 25 people who viewed their displayed art using a thematic analysis of the coded interview data.

Findings of this study demonstrated how art-making as a process increased self-esteem, social interaction and artistic expression; while the viewers experienced an emotional connection to the art. The viewer’s response enhanced YP’s confidence in their abilities.

Incorporating art-making and exhibiting the art in public spaces could be incorporated into YP’s mental health services to support well-being and inform the perception the general public hold of mental health, thus reducing stigma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-118
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Public Mental Health
Issue number2
Early online date31 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2020


  • Mental health
  • Art-making
  • Stigma
  • Young people
  • Regional Australia

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