achievements

Over the past 24 months, MARCH has worked with researchers, community organisations, policy groups, mental health charities and people with lived experience across the UK to help transform our understanding of the role of social, cultural and community assets in mental health. 

 

Here’s a closer look at our top 10 achievements since our inception:

  1. The MARCH network has far exceeded its anticipated reach. Membership has grown to over 1,600 members, with over 3,200 people now following us on Twitter. Our website has received over 150,000 visits over the past year. 

  2. MARCH has shared 22 newsletters involving 108 spotlights on practice, over 180 policy updates, over 90 funding opportunities, and over 90 new research papers. Over 706 members have taken part in our online Basecamp discussion forum and we have run 12 Special Interest Groups involving 859 members.

  3. We have worked with over 300 members of the network to co-produce a new Research Agenda for the field, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry Open, that has identified the most pressing research gaps in the field. 

  4. Guided by the agenda, we have distributed £280,000 in Plus Funds, funding 8 Sandpit events that were attended by over 150 people and 7 new research grants that are currently underway.

  5. We have worked with the MARCH Disciplinary Expert Group to identify over 600 “mechanisms of action” that link leisure engagement to mental and physical health. The mechanisms have been synthesised these into a new framework using the lens of complexity science due to be published shortly in The Lancet Psychiatry.

  6. We have published an evidence synthesis report with the World Health Organisation bringing together the findings from over 3,000 studies on arts and health that was named the Global Aesthetic Achievement of 2019. We have also produced follow-on policy briefings for WHO and the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport and spoken about our work to the UN, UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments), OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development) and several All Party Parliamentary Groups.

  7. We have been working to map the barriers and motivators to social, cultural and community engagement and have run focus groups and interviews with network members including individuals with lived experience of mental illness, GPs involved in social prescribing, and community organisations. We’ve also analysed data from national datasets and published our findings in six scientific papers.

  8. We have worked closely with the BBC’s annual Get Creative’ Festival, supporting the communication of research to the public. As part of this, we ran two major BBC Citizen Science experiments involving over 98,000 people, with the data now publicly available for analysis. 

  9. We have worked to support the national roll-out of social prescribing. We have hosted a sold-out policy conference ‘Arts on Prescription’, collaborated with NHS England to undertake analyses of NHS data from London looking at the reach and impact of the roll-out, written a policy briefing on social prescribing for DCMS, and presented at a number of social prescribing conferences and policy days.

  10. Through our ECR steering group, we have worked with 65 ECRs to deliver blogs, social media activity, and podcasts. We have run two week-long intensive ECR training events on arts and health research in the UK and US for over 80 ECRs, led two day-long research blitz events for community organisations, and supported the Arts Health Early Career Research Network (a network of over 1100 ECRs)

Year in Review 
Year in Review.jpg
2018-2019 
MARCH Year 2 report cover.jpg
2019-2020
A Selection of key publications
Social, cultural and community engagement and mental health: a cross-disciplinary, co-produced research agenda
What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being? A scoping review
Evidence summary for policy: The role of arts in improving health and wellbeing
What are the barriers to, and enablers of, working with people with lived experience of mental illness amongst the CVS
How participatory music engagement supports mental wellbeing: a meta-ethnography
Cultural engagement and mental health: Does socio-economic status explain the association?
Barriers and enablers to engagement in participatory arts activities amongst individuals with depression and anxiety
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MARCH Network events 
MARCH Network
e:   marchnetwork@ucl.ac.uk
P:     020 3108 6282

The MARCH Network                                  

University College London

Torrington Place

London WC1E 7HB

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The MARCH Network is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of the 2018 Cross-Council Mental Health Plus call

www.mentalhealthresearchmatters.org.uk

What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being? A scoping review

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