Mutuality, wellbeing and mental health recovery: Exploring the roles of creative adult community learning and participatory arts initiatives

Project Outcomes

The project aims to explore the processes through which creative practice and mutuality within ACL and community arts settings can help to support well-being and mental health recovery, and to draw out implications for policy, practice and provision.

  • Project web site:
  • Interim reports for all the participating organisations. These have been well received with a range of feedback about the uses of the reports within the organisations.
  • Working paper, 'Mutual recovery': a transformative idea for mental health services?' Lydia Lewis, Jerry Tew, Helen Spandler and Tony Devaney Working Paper, University of Wolverhampton, January 2013. This is available from Lydia:
  • Initial briefing for the 2013 Connected Communities showcase event outlining initial findings from the jewellery-making group studied.
  • Poster presentation to the WEA Annual Conference, Building Communities in Challenging Times, Friday 11th October, Cambridge Corn Exchange. This poster was also presented at the launch of the Institute of Mental Health (Nottingham) research centre, Social Futures in Mental Health.
  • Case study for another Connected Communities study about university-voluntary sector partnerships. Entitled 'Mutual Recovery through Creative Connection' this will soon be published on the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement /UK Community Partner Network website as a resource for people interested in community-university partnerships: Taking part in this study also served as an evaluation activity for the research partners, providing an opportunity for mutual exchange about the benefits of the partnership.
  • Presentation: Lewis, L. (2014), Mutuality in the research encounter: some reflections on the ethico-politics of conducting interviews. Presentation to the first CPMR seminar, Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham, June.

  • Mental Well-being Impact Assessment report: Lewis L, Henson J, Wood A & Chapman L with Cooke A, Snowdon L & White C (2013), WEA Community Health Education in Stoke-on-Trent (CHEST) Project: Women’s Boot Camp, Cobridge. Mental Well-being Impact Assessment (MWIA) Report. University of Wolverhampton in collaboration with the Workers’ Educational Association, Inukshuk Consultancy and SLaM NHS Foundation Trust. Available:

    Mental Well-being Impact Assessment Report (PDF)

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