Human Henge: Stone Henge as a healing environment in the 21st Century

Authors: Heaslip, V.

Start date: 18 December 2017

Mental health is a fundamental aspect of wellbeing; yet 1 in 4 people experience a mental health issue at some point in their life. Despite this, there is evidence that people living with mental illness can become isolated due to stigma. Historical sites such as Stone Henge are known to have been associated with healing in the past and there is an increasing interest in the impact of history and heritage in supporting and restoring mental wellbeing.

This presentation reports upon a collaborative project funded by Heritage Lottery in which 24 people living with mental illness were involved in an innovative, creative ‘Human Henge’ programme over a period of 10 weeks at Stone Henge and the surrounding landscape. This paper presents initial findings from the mixed method evaluation that ran alongside the programme, examining the impact of Human Henge upon individual’s metal health. Data was collected via surveys (incorporating the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale) as well as qualitative methods (focus groups and personal reflections). The presentation will explore both quantitative and qualitative findings to date focussed upon four themes (Feeling Special, Challenging myself, Being Human, Impact upon mental health & wellbeing and Fear for the future).

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