Artworks for mental health and wellbeing
Artworks, The Everybody School of Art has been using art to improve people's mental health and wellbeing for over 9 years.
By providing people with lived experience of mental ill health opportunities to engage with high quality arts provision, marked improvements in participants' mental health and wellbeing have been achieved. These improvements extend beyond the participants artistic skills and visual literacy to their personal sense of health and wellbeing into societal, cultural and economic improvements at an individual, family and community level.
Our successful Artworks for Health and Wellbeing Programme, established in partnership with Creative Minds in 2010 has continued to run year-on-year drawing on support from funding and delivery partners including NHS SWYFPT, Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group, Calderdale Community Foundation, Healthy Minds, Arts Council England and others. Thanks to this over 500 people of all ages with lived experience of mental ill health have taken part in opportunities that connect and engage them with high quality arts provision.
Each person has their own story of success to tell, with benefits ranging from being able to leave the house, organising and taking pleasure in life events, volunteering, returning to work, starting a new career path, returning to and starting formal education at FE, BA and MA level, our work has even been credited, on more than one occasion with ‘saving a person’s life’.
If you have a story of mental health or emotional wellbeing recovery you would like to share we would love to hear from you.
The impact of our work on health and wellbeing is also being evaluated and evidenced in numerous academic research studies conducted at Huddersfield University, Leeds Beckett University, Manchester Metropolitan University and Leeds University by two PhD students, an MA and one BA respectively.
All participants, as a result in taking part of our Art for Wellbeing programmes, report that they feel an increased sense of well-being, confidence, were less stressed, depressed and were better able to cope and manage their lives. Data collected by Creative Minds has shown our work to be a proven and cost effective route to mental health recovery. This is backed up by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts and Health report which tells us that
“there is ample evidence that the arts help to overcome mental health problems. Arts-on-prescription programmes can give rise to significant reductions in anxiety, depression and stress”.
To demonstrate this cost saving, a service user recently reported that if he had not attended our 12 week drawing programme at a cost of £180 he would have returned to inpatient mental health care at a cost of £350 per day.
During 2016-2017 our drawing based Art and Wellbeing programme which was jointly funded by Arts Council England and Creative Minds was evaluated by the Workers Educational Association who found that;
“The project helped participants to improve many of their skills with the most notable improvements in learning (81%), creative (86%), critical thinking (57%) and analytical (52%) skills.
There were several additional wider benefits of the project to the participants’ lives which impacted their health and wellbeing such as; helping to keep their mind active (81% reported this) increasing their self-confidence (76%) and encouraging them to take up new hobbies and interests (71%). “