Arts and Mental Health Churchill Fellowships

Reflecting on 300 encounters as a Travelling Fellow

How, and why, I visited 300 people and 40 organisations in 7 cities, as part of a Churchill Fellowship.

How (and why) I visited 40 organisations across 7 cities 

When I returned home last month, I began to worry that I had spent time with an unmanageable expanse of organisations and individuals during my year as a Travelling Fellow, and at the challenge of corralling so much information and thought into a single report. However, on re-reading previous Fellows’ reports, I am reminded that such breadth and intensity is often the nature of a Churchill Fellowship.

A common goal – and purpose – of ‘travelling to learn’ can be to cast a wide net, much wider than is otherwise possible, in order to gather as much relevant first-hand experience and materials from which to select for a ‘deep dive’. It is through this process that focused exploration of selected parts of the whole is permitted. Some of the key lessons came from exploring previously unknown places and practices I discovered along the way. The ability to follow up leads is a defining and useful feature of the Churchill Fellowships that I enjoyed, and exploited. Thankfully I’ve kept a detailed log in an Excel document, recording who, what, how many, the themes, the outcomes, the here, the when, the why.

During my travels, it was not possible to update my blog daily or even weekly, because I was engaged in meetings, observations, or travel every day. Now I am back I am looking forward to unravelling my experiences, and sharing them. Below is a list of the organisations and people who very generously gave their time and insights, for which I am very grateful.

Encounters with hyperlinks will take you blogs I have already posted this year; more are following! My report is available from 2018.

Fellowship Itinery

Why Finland Features in the Fellowship: Day 1 from Helsinki
Ministry of Education and Culture, Helsinki
Dance Centre of Central Finland,  Jyväskylä | Dementia and Dancing Babies
Clubhouse International, Jyväskylä | Culture Club: “Diagnosis Free Zone” in Jyvaskyla 
TAIKE, Jyväskylä | Modelling Social Change: Arts Promotion Centre, Finland
The Finnish Association for Mental Health MIELI, Helsinki | Nimble Finland: Slot Machine Fund Supports Mental Health
Taikusydän, ‘Heart of Arts’, Turku
Korjaamo Culture Factory, Helsinki, Women Working in Cultural Sectors
Kaapeli Culture Factory, Helsinki
Lapinlahde Lahti Wellness Centre, Helsinki
Piipoo, Tampere
OmaPolku, Tampere
Presentation and open meeting at Tampere Public Library
You Don’t Have Hospital Clowns? You Can’t Be Serious!
Faculty of Art and Design, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi
Music & Health: Lapland’s ‘City Band’ Salaried by Local Government
Jaap Kleevering, Artists in Residence in care homes, Kittila
Ministry of Health and Education, Helsinki

Presentation to EU Social Inclusion Group | The Arts Can Foster Healthy Nations: EU Social Inclusion Meeting in Brussels

USA: New York
Fountain House & Fountain House Gallery |Churchill Was a Painter Too: Mental Health and the Arts in New York City
Professor Kimberley Hoagwood, NYU | Creating Healthy Communities: New York University Langone Health’s Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Carter Burden Network
Arts for Health MMU (in NYC on sabbatical)
Ysanne Spevack, artist
Eric Anthamattan, philosopher & lecturer
LAND studio and gallery (League Education and Treatment Centre), DUMBO| The Future Has LANDed: Locating the Artist Before the Outsider
Natchie artist gallery, DUMBO
Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital; NYC Arts in Healthcare Group
Alex Mandl, Head of Operations, Home-based Living
New York Society for Ethical Culture
TeleVisiting for Incarcerated Parents
Carnegie Hall Lullabies Project
Rikers Island: Literacy for Incarcerated Teens with Gigi Blanchard
Dr Baptiste Barbot, Psychology Department, Pace University
GOSO: Getting Out Staying Out, Harlem
The Whitney Museum, Chelsea

USA: San Francisco
Professor Sheri Johnson Berkeley & team, University of California Psychology Department

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.

1 comment on “Reflecting on 300 encounters as a Travelling Fellow

  1. Pingback: Art Thou Well? Towards Creative Devolution of Mental Health in Greater Manchester – Art Thou Well

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