arts and health Bipolar Disorder Churchill Fellowships

Churchill was a painter too: mental health and the arts in New York City

I’m at the end of a manic 7 weeks in the US and have a good few blogs almost ready to post. Expect a flurry over the next few weeks as I share my Churchill Fellowship experiences, from art studio day habilitation and theatre productions led by disenfranchised youth, to arts-based mental health groups in jails and music therapies at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital.

Art Thou Well

For now, I’m in New York for part of my Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. I’m exploring the role of the arts in healthcare and my focus is on mental health, wellbeing, and social inclusion. Churchill was born on this day in 1874. Find out more about his life and his “bulldog spirit” here.

I’ve already engaged with some fantastic examples and conversations, for example yesterday, with members of Fountain House.

Fountain House was established in 1948 with the first ‘Clubhouse’ here in Manhattan. In 2014 the organisation was awarded the Hilton Humanitarian Prize for their work, dedicated to supporting people to recover their mental health through offering engagement in a range of skills development, education, socialising and some impressive employment programmes.

Fountain House opens it’s doors to 350 New Yorkers every day, and has 1300 members at any one time. Clubhouses are an international movement and I wrote about my…

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I'm a British clinical psychologist with a research background. I manage the Greater Manchester i-THRIVE Arts, Culture and Mental Health Programme, part of the national transformation of children's services. I also have an NHS clinical role in Lancaster and Morecambe working with children, young people and families (CAMHS). I began this blog in 2017 to record a WCMT Travelling Fellowship, from a research role at Arts for Health, Manchester Metropolitan University. I began clinical psychology training (DCLinPsy, Lancaster) in 2010, and studied the role of creativity in bipolar disorder, because of the known links, and partly due to my own experiences of creatively managing extremes of mood in adolescence and throughout my 20s. I have worked in several university psychology research departments including Manchester University in suicide prevention, the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research at Lancaster University (notable for service user expertise), and on the Dementia & Imagination research programme.

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