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  • Jonathan Isserow

Creative Community Cooking with Elizabeth Nails

I had the immense pleasure of meeting Elizabeth Nails, the enormously creative, compassionate and thoughtful Program Manger for Creative Wellbeing & Technology Enhanced Arts Learning (TEAL) at the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture. She is also Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Network Youth Advisory Board making her doubly appropriate for this research. Her passion for developing culturally appropriate arts-in-health programmes, that places relationship at the heart of transformation with young people, is impressive. There is a deep sense of how the healing arts in education might humanise and honour what is sacred in both facilitator and participant, where the intervention is developed from grass roots up! Her Program has developed a unique resource — a kind of ‘cookbook’ curriculum — that invites facilitators and community arts practitioners to draw on, called: The Creative Wellbeing Curriculum Guide. This 'cookbook' or guide, like all good recipes, it is just a starting point that can be adapted depending on the need. This suggests that bringing in a preconceived idea of an intervention in men's mental health in the UK, might be premature. Rather, it would be more appropriate to co-construct any interventions with and alongside men, in any particular community. Good to be reminded of this strategy! Like all good interventions, evaluation is central and can be found here. Thank you so much Elizabeth for such an informative meeting!

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