Double decker bus offers art as therapy.
Starting in 2019, AT The Bus will offer a school-based programme of art as therapy to support the mental wellbeing of children and young people aged 5-16 in Oxfordshire. Group sessions will take place in a specially converted double decker bus on school grounds during the school day.
AT The Bus students will work in small groups led by facilitators trained in The Beattie Methodology, a creative therapeutic intervention which will support their wellbeing and help them to re-engage with their education. The double decker bus will offer a calm, safe space on school grounds for both students and staff.
The lower deck will be converted into an art studio where groups of 6-8 students will transform everyday objects, supporting each other as they work together, while the upper deck will provide a comfortable and relaxing space for quiet interactions.
"AT The Bus goes to the heart of what is needed by schools, in providing a place where young people can take time out, explore issues that are important to them and be heard. This special space will help young people to think creatively, to develop strategies that work and to fulfil their unique potentials. At a time when young people’s mental health is a concern for us all, having a place to help them in this way will be a huge asset in our community."
Marion Stevenson, Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire
If you would like to receive more information about AT The Bus please get in touch: [email protected]
"Providing a safe space for young people to be able to reflect and explore themselves is so important for children's development. Art as therapy is an incredibly effective method to enable children to find peace within themselves. I have seen with my own eyes, the transformation that can be achieved with some of our most vulnerable children through the use of art as therapy. As we move into an ever-more digital world, the opportunity for young people to develop socially through the arts has never been more important."
Emmanuel Botwe, Headteacher of Tytherington School
"We are delighted to be working in partnership with AT The Bus and The Cherwell School at the forefront of art as therapy. Our partnership of local primary and secondary, mainstream and special school communities are already benefiting from the engagement and enthusiasm of the early career teachers who train with us on projects such as these. This particular drive to prioritise such a crucial side of young people’s self-exploration and development is proving a real boost to what it is to work in teaching and learning today."
Sally Price, Wellbeing and Support Officer for Oxfordshire Teacher Training
"Imaginative schemes for helping us all engage with issues surrounding mental health and wellbeing are to be applauded. I would like to express my support and enthusiasm for the principles behind this project and am especially excited about the way this practice will use the therapeutic power of art to make a difference."
Chris Price, Headteacher of The Cherwell School
Rates of depression and anxiety have increased among teenagers by 70% in the last 25 years.
In the UK, 60% of those who need it do not have access to support for mental health issues during childhood.
Half of all lifelong mental health problems start before the age of 14.
93% of teachers report increased rates of mental health issues amongst children and teenagers.