Culture and Health

Effectiveness of arts interventions to reduce mental-health-related stigma among youth

A systematic review and meta-analysis

The systematic review was conducted to determine whether artistic interventions can reduce mental health-related stigma among young people. Fifty-seven studies involving over 41,000 participants were analysed. It was found that initiatives employing multiple art forms were effective in improving behaviour towards people with mental health problems. However, studies using certain performance art forms, such as theatre, multiple art forms, films and role-plays, showed great variety in the results. There is still no consensus on the most effective forms, including in terms of components and duration. The lack of sensitivity and competence on the part of school administrators was highlighted as one of the resistances to change. Studies from low- and middle-income countries were noted in the review. Summing up, arts interventions can reduce mental health-related stigma, but further research is needed to determine the specific effectiveness of each art form and the different components of stigma.