Creative arts and digital interventions: A discussion for prevention and recovery from mental health consequences of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
Shakoor S., Mankee-Williams A., Otis M., Bhui K.
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are a serious public health concern. They effect mental health across the lifespan, lead to social, emotional and cognitive impairment and reduce life expectancy by up to 20 years. Young people experiencing ACEs are highly vulnerable, and therapeutic service provision has limited capacity and in some places poor access (e.g. isolated rural localities). Research, policy and practice is becoming more cognisant of the needs of people living with the consequences of ACEs. However, individual and social factors (i.e. age, ethnic and gender identity, neurodiversity) are neglected. Arts interventions are recognised as offering significant benefits, especially for culturally diverse groups and young people, and for those with limited literacy or inability to verbally express and articulate their emotional worries. Digital and creative arts interventions offer a range of creative opportunities, involving emotional activation and processing, and all self-determined in terms of the degree of participation in preferred creative activities. So the interventions may be personalised and ensure ACE exposed young people are not re-traumatised and have a positive experience of therapeutic efforts. This paper provides a rapid scoping review of the empirical evidence on creative arts and digital interventions for prevention of ACEs and recovery from the mental health consequences of ACEs.