On July 19th 2022, VOX Scotland partnered with Wellbeing Works, Dundee Volunteer & Voluntary Action, and ArtAngel to deliver a ‘Creating Wellbeing for All’ event in Dundee. The day brought residents together to share their perspectives on improving mental health in the city, including identifying both assets and challenges in their communities.
Event participants were invited use their voice in whichever way they were most comfortable, including through direct discussion, creating art pieces, and/or developing zines.
A range of themes were explored throughout the day, with attendees creatively sharing their stories and reflections.
Here are three key messages from the event:
In general there was a feeling that people have changed as a result of the pandemic, with attendees observing higher levels of anxiety, increased fragility, and lower motivation to engage with others.
One participant discussed how they did not want to go out as much as they had pre-pandemic, stating: “it’s given me an excuse – I look for excuses now”.
Community connection was identified as crucial to driving positive change and improving mental health – but more support is needed to foster positive relationships and build strong connections.
2. There should be more effective and accessible support for people with addiction issues
Attendees talked about the impact of past trauma and how this can lead to issues with addiction.
One participant shared that a combination of community support and talking therapies had helped them to move away from a path that they felt could have led to more serious addiction issues and, with that, crime.
From group discussions it was clear that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach and that there should be a range of more effective and accessible options available to support recovery.
Participants reflected on the array of community activities and groups that can support wellbeing in the area, including Dundee Bairns, Church Groups, the Maxwell Centre – and many more!
The introduction of 24/7 non-referral support at the Community Wellbeing Hub was also emphasised as a significant and positive development.
Attendees talked enthusiastically about the friendly and calm environment created by Wellbeing Works and the importance of being able to trust – and have a laugh with! – the staff. In addition, the friendly nature of Dundonians and the beauty of the local area were also seen as positive assets.
To read more about the day, you can read our event report here.
Thank you to Wellbeing Works, Dundee Volunteer & Voluntary Action, and ArtAngel for a fun and creative day – and to all participants for sharing their stories and having their voices heard!