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Arts & Mental Health Film

NHS Sharing & Celebrating Patient and Public Involvement in Healthcare

Our film shares the story of how we engage with participants in the design and delivery of our Creative Directions sessions and how this can lead to improved mental health outcomes.  Giving participants time, choice and control over how they work with artists is essential to helping people to improve and maintain their mental health.

We were delighted to be chosen by NHS England to create this film as part of their ‘Sharing and Celebrating Patient and Public Involvement in Healthcare’ community grant. The aim is to engage with health professionals to demonstrate our approach to engaging with patients with the hope that these ‘tools’ can be replicated elsewhere.

The film focuses on our Creative Directions groups where activities, which range from stone carving to music making, are led by professional artists who take a person-centred approach and make sure everyone can succeed. Sessions are designed with and for adults experiencing mental health issues, including feelings of loneliness and isolation.

We know that by engaging in regular, creative activity participants can increase their health and wellbeing and that this complimentary recovery model can reduce reliance on statutory health services.

A participant from darts’ Creative Directions programme said:


I started to learn all these different creative skills that I’d never done before. Over a very short space of time my life has totally changed. It’s like life has gone from being so dark to being light again.

By working closely with Doncaster’s Clinical Commissioning Group and Public Health, darts also ensure that their activities genuinely respond to the needs of local residents.

darts’ Assistant Director, Lucy Robertshaw said:

What works so well about darts’ approach is that people have full control over what happens in sessions and how they take part. By taking part in arts activities, people will feel better and less isolated. They really do make an incredible difference to people’s mental health.

arts and health

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