Art & Soul are pleased to announce a new partnership with the South West London and St. George’s Mental Health NHS Trust Adolescent Outreach Team. This small, multidisciplinary team helps young people with acute mental health needs avoid entering inpatient mental health care by providing intensive community-based care during periods of mental health crisis.
Thanks to funding from the Baring Foundation, Art & Soul has been able to work closely with this specialist team to devise and plan a course of five therapeutic arts sessions for young people using this service, which began in April 2021. A staff session was held in February 2021 to give the staff referring young people the chance to try the benefits of arts-based therapeutic activity for themselves.
Staff comments: ‘We absolutely loved the staff session and really valued the time for ourselves, as well as gaining a deeper understanding of the benefits for the young people that we work with. Ursula, Betsy and the Art & Soul team, did a fantastic job and we are very excited about the forthcoming sessions and exhibition’.
Trudie Treasure, Senior Support Worker, Adolescent Outreach Team: ‘Art and Soul are a dream to work with and the choice of creative activities for our staff day was perfect. I’m thrilled to be a part of this project and can’t wait to share this with our young people’.
This partnership is part of our Junior Art & Soul programme, which aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people in South West London through three partnerships with the AOT, Priory and Emotional Health Service.
Ursula Kelly, Art & Soul’s lead art therapist: ‘The aim of these sessions is to provide a space for young people to express themselves creatively, in a shared environment. The art activities will be challenging both conceptually and practically, intended to enhance problem solving, communication and relationships. How each young person responds to the various activities and what they create is their choice. There is no right or wrong, no expectation but a celebration of each individual’s presence’.
Rachel Tranter, trustee: ‘By working directly with CAMHS services, Art & Soul is able to reach those who need it most within our community. Children and young people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Art & Soul has a strong track record of improving mental health outcomes and we are pleased that Art & Soul has been able to form these new partnerships’.