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Students Taking Steps To Improve Mental Health

A mood-boosting photography exhibition, created by young people from Our Lady's Catholic College, opens at More Music on Friday 4th March.

Fancy a quick creative challenge?

Grab your phone and spend the next 5 minutes taking photos of things around you that you appreciate.

The idea behind this quick exercise in 'taking notice of the good in our lives' was the basis of a recent 6-month project I was involved in, with pupils from Our Lady's High School.

Funded and supported by The Culture Coop, 10 young people from years 9 to 6th form took part in the 'Brain Hacks' phone photography experiment.

We started with a couple of questions, back in September: Is it possible to boost our mood by trying to focus on the good stuff in our day? Can our phone cameras help us to do that through taking daily photos of the things we appreciate? Despite some initial scepticism about whether phone photography can influence our mood for the better, 10 pupils were willing to take part in a 5-week phone photography course and agreed to take daily positive photos. The range of photos created is diverse and each one tells a story that’s meaningful to the photographer.

Sharing their photos each week in the group took courage, but each young person was willing to talk about their favourite image and why they had created it. By the end of the course, the group members were more optimistic about their ability to shift their mindset a little through this visual gratitude practice. We discussed that we're not attempting to ignore or dismiss the challenges in life, but rather create a more balanced and varied outlook, especially when times are hard and negative thoughts dominate. Looking around and seeing the bigger picture (pun intended) can help us to feel calmer and more hopeful.

One young person said:

“I have made a special effort to focus on the positive both through the course and to help my mental health.” We'd love you to come and see the exhibition of 170 images created during this project, at More Music on Devonshire Rd, Morecambe.

All are welcome to the opening event on Friday 4th March from 5.30-7.30pm with music provided by the year 10 school band. It's free to come along but please book your place via this link:

Culture Coop website:

My website:

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