Reflective Practice support for artists working in mental health contexts

We are delighted to announce that The Baring Foundation has awarded Flourishing Lives funding to conduct a six month research project into Reflective Practice support for artists working in mental health contexts.

Flourishing Lives has developed a strong track record over the last three years of providing practitioner care and reflective practice support for artists and arts practitioners working in older people’s arts and wellbeing settings, and wider mental health contexts.

Since 2018, we have delivered 121 reflective practice group and 1:1 sessions, attended by 361 artists, creative practitioners, and arts and wellbeing professionals. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been commissioned to deliver an additional 20 bespoke online group sessions to date, for teams from arts and wellbeing organisations delivering participatory arts activities in care homes and mental health settings.

As a sector support organisation, we are keenly aware that artists and creative practitioners working in mental health and wellbeing contexts are in vital need of holistic and emotional support if they are to effectively support the socially-isolated older people and people with mental health problems that they serve.

We want to build on the momentum generated by our reflective practice services, and help to create a compelling evidence-base to ensure that reflective practice support for artists working in mental health contexts can be increased across the arts and wellbeing sector.

We are delighted to be working alongside Nicola Naismith – author of the Artists Practising Well report – and therapists Samantha Chilvers and Amanda Whittle on this research project, which will deliver 36 online group sessions over six months, with 12 arts organisations/community arts teams creatively engaging with people with mental health problems. The research will produce wellbeing toolkits and a final programme research report which we will promote and share across the sector. 

We are grateful to The Baring Foundation for their support and look forward to sharing the research findings and programme report in July 2022.