‘Art at the Start’ is an ongoing project offering a range of arts-based interventions to promote the mental health and wellbeing of parents and their infants (aged 0-3 years). We have a particular focus on reaching families vulnerable to poor attachment relationships and who may be facing multiple deprivations and mental health difficulties. These target groups are also likely to be underrepresented within cultural spaces. It is a collaborative research project between University of Dundee and Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA), led by an art therapist. The art therapist delivers a spectrum of approaches to improve parent and infant wellbeing within the gallery space. These include art therapy sessions to support poor attachments and mental health through targeted referrals, public messy play sessions to encourage families to engage in interactive play through shared art making and art boxes for use at home to support vulnerable families during COVID-19 lockdown.
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Armstrong, V. 2021, 'Art therapy in a range of gallery-based arts interventions for the wellbeing of parents and infants', AHPs for Public Health. https://discovery.dundee.ac.uk/en/publications/1f845b11-20c5-40f8-af39-d5c8b0406fe9