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Musical soundscape and swiping with art: online programme brings a breath of fresh air to the dialogue about mental health

On February 28 at ROC Amsterdam, in the presence of more than 300 students and teachers, 'De Bovenkamer' was launched; an online teaching package that makes mental health open to discussion in an accessible way at secondary schools and MBOs.

What is normal

In this project, which was carried out in the context of an NWA communication grant and NWA route Neurolab NL, the museum is brought to the class by Museum van de Geest in collaboration with Leiden University (Marieke Bos), Amsterdam UMC (Annelinde VandenBroucke) and ROC van Amsterdam. 

Through art and culture, secondary school and MBO students are encouraged to think about stigmas and the importance of mental health. What is normal and what is strange? Do we as humans need to change, or do we need to change our ideas about crazy and normal?

Making mental health a topic of discussion

The pupils and students create various online games to get to know their emotions and thought patterns. For example, they create a musical soundscape of their inner world to let the other person experience how they feel during different stressful or exciting moments. And art is swiped to stimulate discussion about what is 'normal' or 'crazy'.

The aim of Museum van de Geest is to make mental health a topic of discussion, to break prejudices, to tackle stigmatization and to contribute to an equal, inclusive society in which everyone can and should participate.

Impact analysis

Marieke Bos and Annelinde Vandenbroecke will conduct an impact analysis among 1,500 MBO students to measure the reach and effectiveness of the teaching package. The results will be used to improve the current program and perhaps also to expand the package in the future.

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