Innovative Arts-Literacy Program Shows Promise in Reducing Depression and Anxiety

A story by Pooja Toshniwal Paharia on describes new research showing the an arts program’s effectiveness in boosting the mental health of Kenyan high schoolers: 

In a recent study published in eClinicalMedicine, researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to assess the efficacy of the Pre-Texts arts-literacy intervention in decreasing anxiety and depression among high school pupils.


Adolescent mood and anxiety disorders, which account for 45% of the worldwide disease burden in 15-19-year-olds, are a global public health problem, especially in low-resource settings such as Sub-Saharan Africa.

The expense of evidence-based therapies, professional delivery, government underspending, and societal stigma are all barriers to access. Visual arts, music, drama, and dance-based therapies have improved young self-esteem, resilience, and self-confidence and reduced externalizing behaviors.

About the study

In the present RCT, researchers adapted Pre-Texts, an art instruction methodology, to address anxiety and depression symptoms in Kenyan teenagers.

In Kenya, the intervention program blends academic difficulties with artmaking to encourage young autonomy and communication. It inspires artmaking and collaborative thinking using text extracts from books, physics classes, or technical instructions. . . . 


Overall, the study findings showed that the arts-based Pre-Texts intervention in a Kenyan afterschool program could significantly relieve anxiety and depression symptoms in adolescents living in low-income urban regions.

The study emphasizes the possibility of community-based, low-stigma treatments to address the mental health needs of disadvantaged kids in resource-limited situations.”

Article →***

More from Around the Web

More from Mad in the Family