GM i-THRIVE: Our Arts, Culture & Mental Health Programme

The Arts, Culture & Mental Health Programme is a branch of the GM i-THRIVE Programme, focusing how arts and cultural activities help young people to thrive, in addition to how they can be used as effective, evidence-based mental health interventions.

We’re breaking new ground with this programme, working with arts partners, children and young people, GM localities and all agency workforces to offer support on arts programmes and how these can be part of the GM THRIVE offer.

Our aim is to kick-start the changes needed for more flexible, relevant and enjoyable mental health support for young people, and ensure GM is offering a more rounded psycho-social service.

Throughout July, the GM iTHRIVE team featured the Arts, Culture and Mental Health Programme and welcoming practitioners working in children and young people’s services to become Arts, Culture and Mental Health Ambassadors. Through this scheme we will support Greater Manchester to better understand and make use of the benefits of the arts and culture for children and young people’s mental health. Sign up to be an arts ambassador

Learn more about Arts Culture and Mental Health

Watch an overview of the Arts Culture and Mental Health programme:


arn about a project in Bolton bringing creativity into CAMHS

What we do

Since April 2019, the team has been working closely with organisations and individuals from the cultural sector to develop a clear vision for innovative and evidence-based partnerships. We have taken significant steps towards understanding current provision, sharing good practice, implementing projects and developing an evaluation framework.

Our aim is to continue this work, and begin working with children and young people in the development of arts and mental health programmes.

The evidence

While there have been hundreds of studies on the role of culture and the arts in supporting wellbeing, no standard means of collecting and reporting data and outcomes are in place. We hope to set this standard with the Greater Manchester Youth Mental Health Arts & Culture Evaluation Kit, which in turn allows findings from evidence-based practice to have a meaningful impact that commissioners can work with.

The kit has been developed as a collaboration between Greater Manchester i-THRIVE and Greater Manchester Combined Authority as part of the Great Place programme,  42nd Street, Arts Council England, Mahdlo Youth Zone, University of Manchester, Z-arts, Lime arts, Contact Manchester and other key stakeholders.

The kit is tailor made to allow arts organisations to use it with ease, whilst collating the data that is useful in demonstrating impact to the health sector and commissioners.

Any Greater Manchester arts or culture organisations working with children and young people that are interested in using the evaluation can request a tailored version of the kit via the request page:


Get in touch

Dr Kat Taylor is the Programme Lead, you are welcome to contact her for any further info: or via twitter @communikatt

Programme updates are delivered by the GM i-THRIVE team. You can contact the team via  @gmithrive  or sign up to the GM i-THRIVE Community of Practice to receive the Greater Manchester  i-THRIVE newsletter