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When SISCODE met Royalty

Queen of Sweden attending the OPEN MIND project at Science Gallery Dublin

On 23 May, Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden visited Science Gallery Dublin (SGD) – one of SISCODE’s labs that are bringing together local stakeholders to practice and use co-creation to tackle a specific societal challenge. For the past few months SGD have been running multiple workshops, unifying professionals and young people to take part in the mental health and wellbeing management project, OPEN MIND. This project focuses on mental health awareness in young people, a topic that is gaining heightened awareness across the social world and in this instance, the attention of the Queen of Sweden on her three-day visit to Ireland.

Ireland has one of the highest rates of mental ill-health in Europe, an affliction that hits the young the hardest. Through co-creation methodologies SGD aims to underpin some of the causes behind this issue and pinpoint solutions to help alleviate this problem, whether that be a product, service or policy. As SGD said:

“Co-creation ensures participants’ voice are listened to, and they have a say in the final solution. Co-creation is a critically important approach in tackling mental health, as there is a direct link between empowerment and improved mental health”

The participants involved in this OPEN MIND project included young 16-year old’s, researchers in clinical psychology, a senior child and adolescent mental health occupational therapists, and of course, Her Majesty Queen Silvia. Co-creation grounds expertise in the everyday experiences of people allowing access to different publics experiences and values to help define the problems and collaboratively find some solution. It’s a means to encourage local policymakers to connect policy design with grassroots initiatives and citizens. The idea behind OPEN MIND, however, was not only to build co-creation skills but to also measure the impact and efficacy in driving participative, citizen-led policy.

Overall, what can we learn from this visit?

1. Mental health awareness is a topical issue attracting many groups of people

2. Co-creation has the capacity and means to help with a wide range of common and esoteric problems

3. That SISCODE may never have a better PR day than this

Her Majesty Queen Silvia, thank you for getting involved with the SISCODE project and thank you for taking interest in such an important societal challenge.


  • #cocreation #mentalhealthawareness