Drawing on the evaluation of a series of workshops in painting and drawing, this paper will assess the impact of attendance on the well-being of participants who had been identified as being at risk of developing mental health problems.
The evaluation was conducted by an independent researcher and consisted of interviews with group members at the beginning and the end of the project about their expectations and experiences. To complement this data, interviews were also carried out with group leaders and artists.
Workshop attendance helped to promote the mutual recovery and inclusion of participants while also enhancing the supportive capacities and social capital of their respective groups. These impacts were broad, sustained and mutually reinforcing, transcending the individual and the group to incorporate wider settings.
The importance of the these wider factors are often overlooked by traditional recovery models with their person-centred focus tending to neglect the context in which this recovery is located.
This participatory arts project was initiated, funded and organised by a consortium of health and social care providers in South Yorkshire.
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