ARTiculate – Arts & Mental Health Action Research Project

ARTiculate is an arts and mental health action research project based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. The project launched in September 2012 and is expected to run until 2014.

ARTiculate aims to provide quality artistic workshops for patients at the Acute Adult Mental Health Inpatient Unit in Rotherham, and will also aim to assess whether arts based activities can aid people’s recovery from mental health issues.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) has a ten-year history of running arts projects with mental health service users, through Arts & Health Officer work.

However, ARTiculate has been formed as a result of the brand new partnership between Arts RMBC and the Mental Health Trust - which operates the Rotherham, Doncaster - and South Humber NHS Trust. The project is innovative, in that very few arts projects have been carried out in an acute mental health in-patient unit, due to the complexities involved. These include convincing staff as to the benefits of taking part, freeing up staff member time to support projects, negotiating permissions and ethics and so on.

The Arts & Health officer and a psychiatrist at the NHS Trust have designed the evaluation tools which will be used to evaluate the project work and, if useful, these will also be distributed nationally via arts and health websites and through mental health journals.

The project has been awarded £21,392 of funding by the Arts Council.

It is expected that patients at Swallownest Court Acute Adult Mental Health Inpatient Unit will benefit the most from this project. ARTiculate also hopes to exhibit art works at a central Rotherham location, in a bid to reduce the stigma associated with mental ill-health.

ARTiculate will also look to continue workshops for patients once they are discharged and living within the community.

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For further information please contact Rhiannon Lister-Coburn - Rhiannon@omtc.org.uk

Supported using public funding by the Arts Council England