Creative Insights: Understanding young people’s perspectives on health inequalities

Published: 8 January 2020

SPHSU project will explore young people’s perspectives on health inequalities and produce creative outputs to inform policymakers.

Published 8th January 2020

An innovative new project at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit will explore young people’s perspectives on health inequalities and produce creative outputs to inform policymakers.

The project brings together researchers with young people in Glasgow and Leeds, and creative partner organisations Impact Arts and Opera North. It will explore the causes and consequences of health inequalities (unfair differences in the health and wellbeing of different groups in society) and discuss potential policy solutions, pursuing those issues which young people prioritise as most important and most relevant to their lives, communities and peers.

The project focuses on two cities, Glasgow and Leeds, both major centres of population in the UK but existing within different policy contexts. In both cities, reducing health inequalities has been identified by local governments and health boards as a priority.

Citizens’ views on potential policy measures that might reduce health inequalities, have not been explored in detail and the voices of young people in particular have been largely neglected.

Following the refinement of the research design with project stakeholders, groups of young people from a range of social backgrounds and with different experiences of the consequences of inequality, will be invited by Impact Arts and Opera North to participate in several workshop sessions.

The sessions will focus on exploring perspectives on health inequalities and potential policy solutions, through creative processes. Sessions will culminate in production of creative outputs which will provide the focus for engagement with local government, health boards, third sector organisations and local communities.

Dr Gillian Fergie, Research Associate and project lead said:

“This project is really exciting for the research team and involves crossing boundaries between areas of the arts, social sciences and policy making.

We are delighted to be working with Impact Arts and Opera North to enable young people to actively contribute to ongoing policy discussions about the reduction of social inequalities in health.”

The project ‘Developing a participatory approach for exploring young people's perspectives on health inequalities’ has been jointly funded by the UKRI Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

First published: 8 January 2020

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