Clarifying what we understand about health and what other people mean when they talk about health is an essential first step for all at Hartlepool Art Studio.
Our non-profit organisation is a community based art studio that specialises in the rehabilitation from mental illnesses. We strive to educate our service users and we are proactive in raising awareness of and assessing a person’s willingness to engage in discussion regarding their health and lifestyle. All who participate at Hartlepool Art Studio agree to the ethos of “a complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
Hartlepool Art Studios mission is to deliver art essions to all members (service users) in order for them to relax and clear one’s mind of the stresses and traumas that present to mentally ill people.
Using painting, clay work and other creative art as a form of non-verbal expression in a friendly setting. The materials used may also include found objects, collage and photography. If one has become disengaged from reality, or feel disconnected from the natural world, using objects such as stones or pieces of driftwood or bark may help you to reconnect with nature in a way that helps you to feel closer to your surroundings. Found objects may also remind them of experiences they have had, and help them express associated feelings in the art you create with them.
In some situations (for example, a manic episode), colour is over-stimulating, and clay work may be used to help members feel more grounded. Clay can be used to represent feelings that can be changed and transformed. This can change the way they deal with emotions, enabling them to leave behind things that have troubled them for many years.
In addition, our aims and objectives show dedication by all members, staff, volunteers and trustees of the Hartlepool Art Studio in:-
- Breaking down the stigma and barriers associated with mental health
- Improving mental health and well being
- Offering options to “change”
- Supplying Self Help materials and signposting
- Developing training, education and personal development
- Overcome barriers to communication
- Promote healthy eating, physical activity and a reduction of smoking and alcohol intake
- Promoting social inclusion
- Provide employment opportunities for local artists
- Provide a focal point
- Create a partnership between local residents and agencies
Member levels have increased, proving that art can have a positive effect in the aid and recovery from mental health difficulties.
Our members, volunteers, staff and artists have drawn on each other’s experience to create a friendly and stable environment in which to express their creativity.