Arts and Mental Health Churchill Fellowships devolution Recovery

Art Thou Well? Towards Creative Devolution of Mental Health in Greater Manchester

This report explores the myriad roles the arts could, and do, play in the service of mental health in Greater Manchester (GM), and is written in the context of the Devolution deal of 2014. GM is the UK’s first city region to have made the arts and culture integral to its health strategy. The report (download here) comprises a comparative study of practices in Finland and the USA, using a psychological perspective. Practical examples are presented, followed by Insights into how they apply to GM. The report is a result of a Churchill Travelling Fellowship for which during 2017 I visited over 40 organisations in Finland and the US.

My deepest thanks and gratitude to the many people (more than 300!) who gave me their time, their views and insights, and their experiences that made producing this report possible and enjoyable – and challenging! I hope I have reflected the value of some of the amazing examples I observed and participated in – and why we should take notice.

What’s Next?

Last month I began sharing the findings of my Fellowship, starting with the first meeting of the Live Well: Make Art network following the successful Great Places Scheme for Greater Manchester (Join us! Mailing list: livewellmakeart@gmail.com). The event explored how the arts can address social isolation and loneliness by building positive social connections.

Throughout June I’m sharing my findings with several professional networks; on Monday 4th June I’m taking the report and the recommendations to the Manchester Central CCG (Care Commissioning Group).

On 5th June, Clive Parkinson at Arts for Health (where my Fellowship began) and Professor Jill Bennett, Director of Sydney, Australia’s Big Anxiety Festival will share her work from the 2017 festival which saw 75 events across Sydney, with 140,000 visitors and 16 major commissions. Book a place at the free event here.

Next week (4 – 10 June 2018) is the seventh annual Creativity and Wellbeing Week, by led London Arts in Health Forum and supported by Arts Council England.

Following the completion of the Fellowship in 2017, I’m employed in NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and looking forward to putting my research into practice.

This week, this brilliant resource has been made available from the US Department of Arts and Culture, download ‘Art & Wellbeing, Toward a Culture of Health

I’d love to hear how you or your organisation are using or plan to use any arts and health reports. Please share stories of challenges, successes, and impact:

Contact me:  communikatt@gmail.com    |    Twitter: @communikatt

Voices from Finland… …

a preview of the people’ Well Wishes I collected, which will be the next post.

 

 

 

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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