Developing the AMPHORA policy guidelines for heritage projects as mental health interventions: a Delphi consultation

Karen J. Burnell, Paul Everill, Eva Makri, Louise Baxter, Kathryn Watson

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Engaging with heritage to support mental health and wellbeing has become a focus of research and policy, more recently moving towards social prescription of heritage interventions. While there are benefits to active participation, there are potential risks to those taking part and to the non-renewable historic remains and landscape that form the core of these projects. The purpose of the current research was to develop best practice guidelines for organisations offering heritage projects as interventions for people who live with mental health issues to protect both participants and heritage. There were two research phases; a Sandpit with World Café discussions to produce a set of research priorities, and a Delphi Consultation, employing three questionnaires distributed over six months, to develop best practice guidelines. The panel in both phases comprised experts through lived experience, policy, practice, and research. The AMPHORA guidelines cover three stages: Project Development, Project Delivery, and Project Follow up, with a set of action points for each stage. Of particular importance was authentic participation and expertise to ensure appropriate management of heritage/ historic environment assets and support for participants. The AMPHORA guidelines can assist all organisations in the delivery of safe projects that support the mental health of those involved, as well as enhancing and protecting the historic environment. These are the first research-led guidelines that help heritage organisations support those living with mental health issues.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMental Health Review Journal
Early online date2 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Apr 2024

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