Spring School 2020

The Spring School in March 2020 had a focus on Adult Mental Health and Making New Meaning of Illness

10th – 13th March 2020


The 2020 Spring School is an intensive, immersive residential for people with lived experience of and for those working in the field of mental health and the arts. It offers time for people to work together, learn from each other, reflect on their experiences, and bring their thoughts back to the group. 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. We will be living, cooking, eating and working together which helps to make connections  between people who have never met before. Understanding each other will lead to personal growth and more informed professional attitudes. We will be considering how creativity can help us find new meaning in our lives and the world around us. Nature will be one focus of our creative explorations.


The Spring School 2020 was planned and delivered by:

  • Alex Coulter, Director of Arts & Health South West
  • Paul Dieppe, Trustee of Arts & Health South West and Emeritus Professor of Health and Wellbeing, University of Exeter
  • Louise Younie, GP and medical educator
  • Gavin Blench, Artist and member of AHSW’s Advisory Group
  • Natasha Duggan, Artist and member of AHSW’s Advisory Group
  • Hannah Mumby, General Manager of Arts & Health South West
  • Ruth Davey, artist facilitator – mindful photography and founder of Look Again

Spring School Podcast

You can listen to Hannah Mumby (General Manager of AHSW) talk to Alex Coulter (Director of AHSW) and artists Natasha, Gavin and Max about their experience of being involved in the 2020 Spring School just before lockdown, and their reflections on using creative activities to support resilience and wellbeing in a podcast recorded in April 2020 here:

Spring School Blogs

Read Alex Coulter’s Spring School reflections in her blog here: Spring School Blog – Alex Coulter

Read Max Frances’ thoughts on creating her amazing book here: Max Frances – Absentee Artist Blog – Spring 2020

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