“You should start a blog!” I was urged again this week; and this time I have!
Hello, and welcome to Art Thou Well.
My name is Kat Taylor and I’m a clinical psychologist working in research and NHS clinical practice (CAMHS and Child & Family Psychology Services). This blog began as way to reflect on, document and share my 2017 Churchill Fellowship, which enabled me to explore arts and health initiatives in Finland and the USA, with the aim of supporting similar progression back in the UK. Upon returning, I joined the Greater Manchester iTHRIVE team as Arts and Mental Health Innovation Programme Manager.
As a researcher I have explored links between arts, health and well-being. This blog contains resources for culture and the arts, health and psychology, with particular focus on dementia and the arts (where this journey began) and, more recently, on the role of culture and the arts in fostering child, family and community wellbeing.
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The story so far…
I have worked in research since 2006. Upon qualifying in clinical psychology in 2013 I took a post as a Lead Researcher on the Dementia and Imagination research programme, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Councils Connected Communities programme. Between 2012 an 2017 I worked on this project, at Arts for Health, at the School of Art at MMU.
In 2015 the Journal of Affective Disorders published my research exploring the links between creativity and bipolar disorder (or manic depression as it used to be known). My work includes attending to the active ingredients that make arts based interventions successful.
This research continued in 2017 with a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship, an apt route given Churchill himself experienced extremes of mood, which he called “the black dog.” Churchill was a very competent painter, and one who painted partly as a means of managing his own intense emotional life. The subsequent report has enabled health leaders in Greater Manchester to support the development of a post unique to Greater Manchester: Arts and Mental Health Innovation Programme Manager. This programme sits within GM iTHRIVE, Greater Manchester’s team leading the transformation of children’s service, happening nationally and known as iTHRIVE.
I hope to provide an educational and inspiring mix of reports from my working life, and to encourage others to think about how culture and the arts might play a role in your field of practice – and in supporting your own wellbeing.
You can expect posts on, for example:
– How The Arts Foster Wellbeing; specific practice and research examples
– Top Tips For Preparing Clinical Staff for Working in Arts-Based Ways
– Following my Churchill Fellowship journey
– How Greater Manchester ITHRIVE team Hopes Culture and the Arts Can Innovate Services
Thanks for reading my introductory post.
You can read Episode 1 now: Begin in Paris in Spring.
What follows is an easy-read Infographic on my Churchill Fellowship.