Authors: Sally Paterson, ACT
Event: 2001 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Creativity And The Arts, book of proceedings
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Leisure Program ACT and the Belconnen Open Art (BOA) Program are innovative mental health promotion programs that work in partnership between Belconnen Community Service (non government) and ACT Mental Health Services (government run Mental Health services). Leisure Program supports over 100 individuals with mental illnesses to participate in a range of meaningful mainstream activities. They are doing this in a large community facility alongside 1500 people each week as well as extending themselves to join in sporting events interstate and arts exhibits in several of Canberra’s galleries. BOA runs an inclusive arts program, supporting 70 individuals in a range of arts classes and mentoring relationships. Most activities are inclusive of non-mental health consumers.
Wellbeing is gained through belonging and a new identity other than the metal illness label eg “I am an artist”. The programs create pathways to wide community involvement, increased personal optimism and resiliency and broad community education.
There is consumer involvement in planning, administration and evaluation. The programs influenced ACT MHS to locate all government rehabilitation programs in mainstream community settings in 2001.