Case Studies

A Creative Journey with Paper and Textiles

  • Artist(s):
    Viv Young, specialsing in arts in health and studying for an MA in Community Practice at Staffordshire University
  • Artform(s):
    Mixed media, focussing on paper and textile techniques
  • Commissioner(s):
    East Staffordshire Borough Council
  • Funder(s):
    Arts East Staffordshire and East Staffordshie Borough Council
  • Venue(s):
    Margaret Stanhope Centre, South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Burton-upon-Trent
  • Duration:
    There were seven sessions with the artist and four sessions in between led by the occupational therapists
  • Health Need(s):
    Adults with acute mental illness
Developing self-esteem and self-confidence through participation in arts activities, to equip acute mental health service users with skills and interests to pursue when discharged.

Project Information

The aims of the project were to provide inpatients with acute mental health issues the opportunity to develop their self-esteem and self-confidence through participation in arts activities and to equip them with skills and interests to pursue when discharged. The other aspect of the project was the development of a skills exchange, whereby the artist gains the opportunity to learn and reflect on her skills within an acute inpatient environment. In return she shares a wealth of new ideas and resources with the occupational therapists. This ensured the sustainability of ongoing activities after the project had finished.

A key element of the artist’s ethos which has been embraced is the use of recycled materials. This showed how art can be both inexpensive and environmentally friendly and need not rely on specialist equipment or materials.

This project developed out of staff wanting to increase the knowledge and skills of service users to promote more independence and also to empower staff to lead a wide range of activities. The “Fish” art-work jointly created as a result of the project is now framed and hanging on the ward. The Occupational Therapist contributed an article about the project to the hospital newsletter.