Lakes International Comic Art Festival and Lancaster University join forces

LANCASTER University and the Lakes International Comic Art Festival are teaming up to host an event to support learner mental health.

This free online event, which will take place on Tuesday 28 June, is aimed at all school colleagues who wish to be better equipped with resources and creative methods that can contribute to the well-being of learners, and offers a way to involve young people in this important aspect of their lives.

The event is inspired by the publication of Lancaster University’s graphic novel “Things & the Mind”, co-created by Dr. Nataša Lacković from the Department of Educational Research, Andi Setiawan and students from Lancaster University.

It features nine different stories told by students about their experiences with mental health.

The stories explore the ways students experience their well-being in relation to the environment and objects around them.

The associated interactive and digital tool “Things & the Mind”, co-created by Dr. Lacković and Dr. Brewster with a team of web developers, will also be available for browsing and application.

Dr Nataša Lacković said: “This is, in our opinion, the first graphic novel in English co-developed with a group of students about their mental health.

“It will speak volumes to many readers through the nuances of visual communication, commentary, reflections and memories.

“Nine college students who have had and/or have wellness and mental health issues provided storylines for the novel. They shared their subjective accounts of how everyday “matter” affects or affects their well- be.”

The launch event will introduce teachers to online and printable resources designed to provide opportunities for learner interactions with the graphic novel. This will also be an opportunity for teachers to provide feedback and discuss how the resource could be used with secondary learners.

Practical advice on how comics and visual communication can contribute to student well-being will also be included.

Daniel K. Denny