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Crafting better digital health skills

Artworks Inc are combining art and digital skills workshops to promote digital health resources.

By Good Things Foundation Australia · 13/05/2021

Digital health mentor Kirstie teaches a class of women with tablets on the table.

Adelaide-based community art studio Artworks Inc are helping boost digital health literacy through workshops that unite art and digital skills.

Artworks Inc integrated their 2020 Health My Way program and resources with their existing Be Connected and art programs. Incorporating their group’s interest in mental health resources, the program taught learners how to access and use mindfulness apps using the Health My Way online resources.

“A lot of our students experience anxiety, so it was a case of what was going to be the most helpful to them. So we thought of a way that we could include a mindfulness activity while looking at the reliable sites and apps highlighted by Health My Way,” said Digital Health Mentor Kirstie McGregor. “It wasn’t just an information overload, there was fun art involved which got the message across clearer.”

During these workshops, students were able to listen to meditation audio tracks sourced from reliable health apps while colouring in – an activity some studies suggest can reduce stress and promote being mindful.

“We are an art studio so we always include an art aspect in all the activities we do, so for the Health My Way program we combined it with our other programs,” Artworks Inc Manager Irene Dougan said.

Kirstie noted that learners were “all were fairly new to digital skills with very little experience, so lessons started with the basics”. Eventually though, learners became confident finding reliable health information and services online. Kirstie says the experience of one learner in particular showed how transformative the experience could be.

“She had very limited digital skills, so for her to be able to see how easy it was to access these resources, it was really rewarding to her. Before, she was always putting it in the too hard basket. But with the program, she found a way of being able to incorporate digital skills with something she really enjoys doing, which is great.”

With classes running during the COVID-19 pandemic, the social connections formed at Health My Way classes were also important in uplifting and empowering their community to utilise digital health services.

“With everything that was going on in the world with the uncertainty of Coronavirus, Health My Way was a great way to touch base with our community,” Kirstie said. “It was a good way for us to be able to connect with them and show them good, reliable resources and how easy it is to access, and take the time out to do something for themselves.”

You can read more stories of how our partners are improving digital health literacy in their communities below.