Circus and Clowns: Creative approach for emotional and mental well-being : Learning from Clowns without Boarders and Circus Cirkör

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för samhällsstudier (SS)

Abstract: The number of displaced people around the world today is unprecedented in world history, with a third of those displaced below the age of 18. These children often undergo traumatic experiences which can cause serious mental health issues before and during their flight as well as afterwards when resettling in a new country. In Sweden, they are offered psychological aid in order to better deal with these issues and hence recover. However, due to the cultural stigma attached to mental health problems, psychosocial aid is often ruled out by the child themselves. In addition, up to 30% of these unaccompanied children have been reported to suffer from PTSD, where merely speaking about one's issue can trigger a relapse of the trauma. There is therefore a shortage of pragmatic approaches to help tackle the challenges that these children faces. The aim of this thesis is to investigate how creative programs such as the organisation Clowns without Borders works with unaccompanied refugees and how their methods affect the wellbeing of these children. This thesis explores the effects that laughter and playing has on a child’s well-being using a qualitative field research approach. The research is a contribution to the field of development since it offers new grounds on how to work towards increasing the living standards of resettled displaced persons.

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