Participating in the arts can improve mental health by reducing stress and isolation and improving self-esteem.
There has never been a time in the history of Impact Arts, that focusing on people’s health and wellbeing has been of more importance.
Many of the people that come through our doors are experiencing a range of barriers to living a fulfilling and positive life, but most common are feelings of anxiety and poor mental health. COVID-19 and the stresses associated with the cost-of-living crisis have exacerbated this and are having a disproportionate and profound effect on those we with whom we work. People are feeling uncertain about their futures and are finding engaging with services and support more difficult than ever.
Whilst some of our activities are designed specifically to support those with mental health and wellbeing difficulties we now provide mental health and wellbeing pastoral support and guidance tutors across all our projects. Staff are trained in mental health first aid and all are trauma responsive. Thanks to our strong partnerships we are also able to refer individuals to enhanced support where appropriate. This combined approach ensures we are able take a person-centred approach to wellbeing and ensures that we are able to equip each individual with the tools and confidence to move forwards with their lives.
– Bernadette, Craft Café participant
Bernadette has been attending the Craft Café for 4 years. Craft Café programmes provide people aged 60+ with the opportunity to access an arts workshop and support from an artist in residence. The workshop is a place where they can learn new skills, renew social networks and reconnect with their communities. Craft Café takes place in both community and care home settings.
Bernadette retired at 59 and had a very challenging working and personal life, impacting on her health. After a long period of hospitalisation, she moved to Govan, where she was introduced to the Craft Café in 2015.
Craft Café helps immensely with Bernadette’s mental health. She came to the Craft Café following her release from hospital and it remains a steady, supportive place. She explains the Craft Café has helped enormously, reflecting ‘it has not only helped my life but I believe it has saved my life.’ She believes that after coming out of hospital she would have otherwise stayed at home, and believes the Craft Café prevented her from going into hospital again.
Furthermore, Bernadette attributes Craft Café with helping her to reduce and manage her physical pain and increase her exercise routine. She believes the exercises they do each day have helped, along with the friends she has made who she often goes on walks with after Craft Cafe sessions.
Whilst Bernadette believes Craft Café has been an invaluable support network and community for her, she has equally become an invaluable and active member of the community. Craft Café has been able to support and encourage her to achieve extraordinary things within the community. Her biggest achievement has been the success of the Summer Ball, which she organized alongside the Craft Café. Bernadette raised £750.00 for the Craft Café, in recognition of the support it has given her and others who have similar experiences.
Art therapy offers a safe relaxed space for children to express themselves through creativity and play.
Make Space sessions are fun, varied and will help you protect your mental well-being as well as bringing happiness and structure to your day.
The Craft Cafe creates a sense of purpose, reduces isolation and provides a therapeutic space which allows residents to feel better connected.