Improving mental health, reducing isolation and strengthening communities.
‘The support and encouragement found in these sessions is a rare find when one is embarking on a journey of recovery/self-discovery. It is also a valuable asset to the Mental Health Community and indeed the local community.’
Every Wednesday, a group of adults – either carers for those with mental health problems or dealing with their own individual challenges (currently 5, following Government guidelines) – benefit from weekly art classes on a kitchen table in their local community. Working with Arts Lab’s Sara Downham-Lotto over coffee, art materials and chatter, the growth in personal and creative confidence and ability is remarkable. Popular for locals, is the group’s annual exhibition in the village community centre. This simple model is one that we encourage our young artists to take into their own communities wherever they are.
In 2018, we registered with the local Health Centre and have since welcomed occasional referrals to the group.
‘Having been struggling with difficulties for years, I’ve found the safe space of the group, and the facilitation, guidance and support through creativity, a valuable tool in my recovery.’
‘This has transformed Helen’s life. Now she has friends for the first time in years and it is helping her come to terms with life.’
‘I joined the art workshop to support my adult son who is recovering from a mental health problem. It is helping him enormously and in a climate of severe cuts in the NHS, it is the only therapy group in our area.’
‘Thank you so much for the inspirational workshops. We are so enjoying the sessions. They are the best thing to have happened to George since his relapse nine years ago. Up till now he has been unable to communicate with others suffering or recovering from mental illness, or anyone else for that matter. He has been on tremendous form – very expressive and talkative. Your workshops have been the turning point.’
Community, Mental Health