AHSW's Director, Trustees, and Members reflect on various aspects of arts, health and wellbeing.

Recap on Creativity at the Heart of Human Flourishing

Director’s Blog – November 2019

I hope you can join us at the launch of our Big Give campaign on Tuesday 3rd December 12.30-2pm at the Watershed in Bristol. It will be an opportunity to hear Emma Lazenby talk about ForMed Films’ recent work. Emma is a BAFTA-winning director and ForMed create amazing animated films and illustrations to help people better understand medical and health issues. Tickets include a delicious lunch and a donation to our Big Give campaign: Connecting through Creativity; Tackling Loneliness. They cost £25 and are available here.

At our annual conference ‘Creativity at the Heart of Human Flourishing’ we heard about an exciting new partnership between public health and culture in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This builds on decades of grassroots activity and will create a more sustainable future for arts and health work across the county. In Torbay, partnership working between the Council and Torbay Culture has led to the creation of a shared Care Charter and some valuable learning about the qualities and conditions needed to ensure partnership working is effective. In a discussion on the Community Connections social prescribing project in Weston-super-Mare, similar challenges and key success factors were identified. The panel was joined by a participant from Theatre Lounge who spoke eloquently about his own journey through using creative writing and theatre. Throughout the conference, the testaments from participants were a powerful ingredient in what was an intense and very productive two days. On the Friday, our focus was on lonelinessmental health and social prescribing. Eloise Malone from Effervescent spoke passionately about the Lonely not Alone campaign, created with and for young people, and Charlene Mulhern, from Public Health England, talked about the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health. As a signatory to the concordat, Arts & Health South West is committed to promoting better public mental health across the region, and we hope that you will support that ambition. You can see the conference presentations here.

Applications are now open for the 2020 Spring School on ‘Creativity and Mental Health: helping ourselves and others make new meaning from illness’. We encourage applications from academics, arts practitioners and health professionals. The aim is to bring professionals together with those prepared to share their experiences of mental illness in an equal and trusting space. The Spring School is from the 10th to 13th March in Dorset and the deadline for applications is 10th January. We hope you will apply!


Alex Coulter

18th November 2019

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