The award winning Start2 online resource offers unique tools to enable people to improve and maintain mental well-being

Live Life More Creatively

Who is Start2 for?

Keeping well in mind and body is something we all aspire to. The award winning Start2 online resource offers unique tools to enable people to improve and maintain mental wellbeing through creative exercises.

There are over 100 creative activities to explore, together with insights into their wellbeing benefits. Expert advice guides the user all the way.

All exercises are evidence-based in improving and maintaining wellbeing and have been designed by leading NHS Mental Health Service Start (mc). They allow flexibility in achieving desired outcomes.

If new to art and creative writing, there’s no need to worry because Start2 guides you with expert tips and advice.

For those experienced in art and creative writing, there will be many news ideas to tap into.

For health or social care professionals, Start2 provides a resource that will support the wellbeing of clients and patients. Creative activities put together by experts will offer a complement to other forms of care and treatment.

So Start2 can help those who:

  • would benefit from relaxation in everyday life
  • would benefit from the challenge to learn something new and creative
  • are feeling in need of support and help with low mood, anxiety or other health issues
  • are hoping to support someone else through creative activity

Why register to Start2?

Registration to Start2 is quick, easy and private and allows the maximum benefits to be gained, including access to:

  • Downloads of all activities (excluding interactives)
  • Wellbeing monitoring, confidential wellbeing guidance and feedback via our ‘Wellbeing Thermometer’ and Start2 ‘mentor’
  • Reflective diary archive
  • Goal Setting
  • Storage of digital artwork and upload to communal galleries
  • There are many reasons to utilise the substantial benefits of Start2:
  • Free and accessible 24/7
  • Free for both end users and professionals using Start2, thus reducing pressure on services
  • Online capability allows access by a greater number of users
  • Fully automated to run 24/7, thus increasing the availability and scope of care
  • Evidence Based
  • Creative activity is proven to have numerous benefits to mental wellbeing, such as increased resilience to stress and measurably increased wellbeing
  • Validated Outcome Measure

sWEMWBS (The short Warwick and Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale) is unique as it focuses exclusively on positive thoughts and feelings. Its use allows Start2 to optimise benefits of creative activity on an individual basis

Drugs Free Treatment

Cost effective and complementary to medication

May reduce use of medication and GP/ outpatient visits


Start2 provides treatment, but in addition can also act as a preventative tool to ensure mental wellbeing issues improve and do not escalate

Self-help and recovery focused

Start2 gives people the tools to help themselves

Start2 enables inclusion by actively encouraging engagement with real and virtual communities, and the natural world, and by helping users to share their work with friends and family

Hope is central to recovery. Start2 provides empowerment and the ability to take active control of one’s life

Who’s behind Start2?

  • Start2 has been created by the team at Start (mc), a unique part of Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust
  • Start (mc) is a multi-award winning arts-based mental health service, aiding recovery and wellbeing through arts and gardening with a unique emphasis on creativity
  • The NHS institute for Innovation and Improvement has named Start (mc) as one of the top 10 most innovative services within the NHS
  • With over 25 years’ experience, Start (mc) is recognised nationally as a leader in its field
  • Called the Start model, it is widely recognised as effective and innovative by health and arts bodies both nationally and internationally. The team created the unique model of working with art for the benefit of wellbeing that you will see in use on the resource
  • Using up to date research into the proven links between creativity and wellbeing, Start (mc) continually seeks to develop and sustain good practice and effective service delivery to continually achieve positive outcomes

The Department of Health funded Start2 to enable the public to use our award-winning methods.


Nic McCoy

Co-Founder and Director of Talent Solutions

Nick is an experienced sales, marketing and recruitment professional with the last 12 yrs+ spent working with Medical technology companies and digital health innovators.

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