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Shelf Help Empowers Students

Posted: 25.04.2019

First year Level 3 Art and Design students worked closely with Lancashire libraries to help promote the connection between reading and how it can help improve people’s mental health.

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Shelf Help is a Reading Well for young People book scheme, developed by the Reading Agency, the society of Chief Librarians and the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians. The books provide 13 to 18 year-olds with support and advice on common mental health conditions.

Students produced artwork as part of the Think Positive project which aims to tackle numerous issues that can be connected to mental health and wellbeing.

Students chose a book from the Reading Well list and after reading were inspired to produce artwork and animations to reflect the issues raised such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-esteem. Having a profound effect on the students, one is currently on a course involving meditation and how it can help with wellbeing.

Course tutor Clare Anderson said "This was a fantastic opportunity for our learners to be involved with, both as work related experience and on a more personal level, relating their own experiences to the books they read from the scheme. The students read books and produced art work in response to what they had read, focussing on developing positive messages to promote the scheme among young people. They have developed a range of skills throughout the project, including screen printing, mixed media and digital animation skills. They have also gained experience of presenting their work to an audience. The students have thoroughly enjoyed the project and would recommend it for future students at the college."

All artwork can be found in Morecambe Library. The exhibition has been launched to mark World Health Day that was on Sunday 7th April and will be displayed until the 4th May before it tours other libraries.

The College’s own library in the Hex has all the books from the Reading Well list and students are encouraged to utilise them.