Previously published as: A Life in the Day
Online from: 2010
Subject Area: Health and Social Care
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|Title:||Eco art on prescription|
|Author(s):||David Baker, (Programme Manager and course tutor for the Eco Art on Prescription courses, Devon, UK), Ann Ley, (Until recently, a researcher in adult mental health for Devon Partnership NHS Trust, UK), Justine Alexander, (Graduate of the Eco Art course, Devon, UK), Anne Beer, (Ggraduate of the Eco Art course, Devon, UK)|
|Citation:||David Baker, Ann Ley, Justine Alexander, Anne Beer, (2012) "Eco art on prescription", Mental Health and Social Inclusion, Vol. 16 Iss: 2, pp.84 - 89|
|Keywords:||Art, Creativity, Depression, Mental health, Quality of life, Recovery, Social inclusion, United Kingdom, Wellbeing|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/20428301211232496 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – This article reports an evaluation of the effect of Eco Art on Prescription courses on the wellbeing of 39 participants.
Design/methodology/approach – Participants with experience of mild to moderate depression, stress or anxiety took part in one of three ten-week art courses held in North Devon. The courses were themed to the local environment and carefully tailored to meet the needs of the targeted participants by providing a safe, supportive and affirming experience. Students completed a validated wellbeing scale at the start and end of each course, when qualitative data were also gathered. All data were analysed by an independent evaluator.
Findings – Attendance over the sessions was extremely high at 91 per cent. Results indicate a significant increase in wellbeing scores from the start (M=2.59, SD=0.82), to the end of the courses (M=3.26, SD=0.79), t(26)=-6.74, p=0.0001. Independent observation of a sample of sessions revealed a group of people totally absorbed in what they were doing. There was a relaxed, friendly atmosphere with developing social relationships amongst the students. Key themes from students' qualitative feedback were sheer enjoyment, educational benefits and increased confidence, both artistically and socially.
Originality/value – This small project adds to an accumulating body of knowledge, both locally and nationally, indicating the potential of art to improve wellbeing, promote social networks, and to even transform the lives of individuals recovering from mental distress.
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