‘Art for Mental Health’ Exhibition Launched

Johnston Cavan Library saw the launch of ‘The Easel Way to Recovery Art Exhibition’ recently, featuring a range of artworks created by participants in the ‘Art for Mental Health’ workshops run by the CAWT Innovation Recovery Project.

The CAWT Innovation Recovery Project is supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body and delivers a wide range of free educational courses which promote mental health well-being and recovery.

The ‘Art for Mental Health’ programme was delivered to groups of between 7-11 participants over a six-month period. The course attracted people who were interested in exploring their own mental health wellness using art as a medium around positive ‘CHIME’ themes – Connectedness, Hope and Optimism, Identity, Meaning and Empowerment.

Each participant worked in collaboration with their peers to design pieces of art and discussing the significance of their work in the context of CHIME. Participants were facilitated in these groups by a person with lived experience of coping with mental health issues (a peer educator), along with a healthcare professional.

Johnston Cavan Library saw the launch of ‘The Easel Way to Recovery Art Exhibition’ recently, featuring a range of artworks created by participants in the ‘Art for Mental Health’ workshops run by the CAWT Innovation Recovery Project.

The CAWT Innovation Recovery Project is supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body and delivers a wide range of free educational courses which promote mental health well-being and recovery.

The ‘Art for Mental Health’ programme was delivered to groups of between 7-11 participants over a six-month period. The course attracted people who were interested in exploring their own mental health wellness using art as a medium around positive ‘CHIME’ themes – Connectedness, Hope and Optimism, Identity, Meaning and Empowerment.

Each participant worked in collaboration with their peers to design pieces of art and discussing the significance of their work in the context of CHIME. Participants were facilitated in these groups by a person with lived experience of coping with mental health issues (a peer educator), along with a healthcare professional.

Padraig O’Beirne, HSE Area Director of Nursing and Project Board member, commented, “It is fantastic to see the wonderful artworks developed by our students over the six-month course and I would like to congratulate the students for their creativity and dedication. These programmes provided participants the opportunity, time, space and encouragement to work with art materials to express themselves in a safe environment. They also explored important issues in relation to their self-esteem, sense of identity, meaning and purpose in life, connection to supportive communities and hopes and ambitions for their own future wellness and recovery.”

Kevin Curran, Coordinator of the CAWT Innovation Recovery Project added, “The feedback from those who facilitated the course and those who took part has been really positive. Getting involved with art is an excellent way to take time out from the stresses of daily life, connect with yourself and improve your overall wellbeing. We hope to welcome more people on to the Art for Mental Health course in future.”

For information on CAWT’s Innovation Recovery Project contact Cathy McCloskey, Project Manager, email: cathy.mccloskey2@westerntrust.hscni.net

Information about Innovation Recovery’s online courses is available on Twitter at https://twitter.com/InnovationRecov and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/InnovationRecov

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