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 am a senior clinical psychologist in NHS Children’s services (CAMHS), and was, during the Fellowship, a Research Associate at Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University. I have worked in several university psychology research departments including the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research at Lancaster University, notable for its service user involvement, and on the Dementia & Imagination research programme. My research has explored links between arts, health and well-being and I have shared this work in a variety of forums and to diverse audiences.

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