International Health Humanities Network Impact Reports and Narrative
Arts in the Institute
Since 2009, the Institute of Mental Health has supported a programme of arts activities. These include a rolling programme of visual arts exhibitions in conjunction with City Arts http://www.city-arts.org.uk/ in the Institute's offices focussing on mental health themes such as voices, diversity and identity.
Full Impact Narrative
Since 2009, the Institute of Mental Health has supported a programme of arts activities. These include a rolling programme of visual arts exhibitions in conjunction with City Arts http://www.city-arts.org.uk/ in the Institute's offices focussing on mental health themes such as voices, diversity and identity. The exhibitions have been successful, attracting a wide range of visitors such as school groups and healthcare students. The exhibitions provide an opportunity for mental health service users, healthcare students and healthcare professionals to exhibit and sell their artwork. Work has been submitted from all around the UK and very positive feedback has been received from staff in the Institute's offices.
The involvement of mental health service users aims to promote social inclusion and counter stigma in a population who often experience marginalisation. The project has impacted educationally as students from both healthcare and arts faculties have submitted their work for exhibition. Involvement in the arts is not commonly promoted in healthcare education. Such activities provide a counterbalance to the stressful vocational nature of training and practice and the emphasis on evidence based practice. Engagement with the arts can also assist students in coping with risk and uncertainty, ever-present in healthcare practice.
The activities link to teaching on the medical degree course, for example joint teaching sessions involving medical and nursing students on the 'arts in psychiatry' module and 'seeing within-art and the study of anatomy' course which is run jointly with fine art and medical students.
A sculpture is currently being commissioned for the new Institute headquarters. One artist will be chosen from 50 applications to work jointly with service users and healthcare students to develop a sculpture which embodies the experience of mental health problems. This project aims to break down barriers between service users, healthcare trainees and artists through joint working and will hopefully result in an artwork that has a wide sense of ownership.
Victoria Tischler, IMH arts co-ordinator
- Tischler, V, Chopra, A and Nixon, N. & McCormack, L. (2011). Loss and Tomorrow's Doctors: how the humanities can contribute to personal and professional development International Journal of Person-Centered Medicine. 1(3), 547-552
- Tischler, V., Pratten, M. and Ben-Zenou, H. (2010) Seeing within- art and the study of anatomy. Teaching for Integrative Learning. Innovations in University practice. Volume 4, 143-151 ISBN: 978-0-9563525-4-5
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