Designing an audio tour for the National Gallery

What is this project?

Funded by the Medical Research Council, our Young People’s Network worked with Dr Helen Fisher and the National Gallery team to design a mental health themed audio tour. The tour focused on raising mental health awareness by debunking some of the major mental health myths. The guided tour launched on World Mental Health Day on 10th October 2019.

Why is this project important?

Whilst the topic of mental health has become more widely discussed, there are still misunderstandings about what it means to experience mental health problems. The tour aims to challenge some of the stigma that exists about people with mental health problems, using art as a starting point. It aims to provide alternate perspectives and to generate discussions with the general public in a unique setting.

How were McPin and people with lived experience of mental health problems involved in the project?

Eight members of our Young People’s Network attended a series of workshops in order to co-design the audio tour. Some of the key ways in which they were involved includes: identifying the myths which will be addressed in the tour, providing alternate perspectives to these myths, and helping to identify paintings and spaces within the National Gallery which may fit well with addressing these myths. Some of the voices of the young people also featured in the audio tour itself.

What is the current status of the project? 

The audio tour has now concluded, but you can read more detail about it on the National Gallery’s website here. And read an overview from our partners Kings College London here.

And listen to a snippet from the tour here:

Research on this project was published in Early Interventions, and you can find the paper here.

And read about what it was like to co-create the tour from a young person’s perspective here.

Where can I find more information?

For further queries about service user involvement, please contact Rachel Temple by email: or by phone: 0207 922 7874.