The Healing Arts at BHWC is a network of programs that uses the arts, creative therapies, integrative medicine, and other healing approaches to enhance quality of life, health and wellbeing of our patients, staff and community.
Our Arts Council funding required us to produce a report outlining our activity and it's impact from the beginning of the programme. As a result of thisthey were happy to release the balance of the funding. We are now in the process of applying for further Arts Council funding to match fund an application we are making to the Paul Hamlin Foundation for funds to support an arts programme for 3 years. This will enable us to extend the reach of the programme beyond the patients of Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre.
Visual Arts offer a powerful way to explore experiences, communicate perspectives, connect with others, bridge differences, and inspire dialogue on key issues in a manner that draws people in.
Engaging with the arts is also a creative and safe way to help people cope with stress, illness, trauma, addiction and other concerns. Whether creating a simple drawing or collage, looking at art or talking about it, the arts can help you:
At BHWC, we recognize the value of the arts in enhancing patients medical experience and quality of life. We also take pride in collaborating with community partners to produce and exhibit community-created artwork. Showcasing community-created art at BHWC is a unique way to enliven our health centre environment, create links to community organizations, and represent the community members we serve.
We also offer Creative Art Therapy classes run by arts psychotherapist Saskia Neary.
Creative arts therapies are used to promote general wellbeing in children, teenagers, and adults. No background in the arts or artistic ability is needed to benefit from creative arts therapy. Please contact us if you are interested.
Writing, journaling and storytelling are powerful forms of self-expression. They are tools to help you get to know yourself better, and the more you know, the more active a role you can play in your health. The physical act of writing can also be an effective method of de-stressing and has a similar effect on the mind as meditation. Your breathing slows down and you get into a zone where words flow freely from your head.
During our narrative workshops you will participate in close reading, reflective writing, expressive writing exercises and group discussions. These are not creative writing workshops. Our workshops will help you express yourself and encourage you to begin writing down your story.
We are endorsed by the Narrative Medicine Program at Columbia University in New York. Narrative Medicine - as delineated by Dr Rita Charon in her book, Narrative Medicine: Honouring the Stories of Illness (OUP, 2007) - seeks to develop the narrative competence necessary to nourish emphatic doctor-patient relationships. Narrative Medicine aims not only to validate the experience of the patient, but also to encourage creativity and self-reflection in the physician.
Studies show that the act of 'writing oneself' is proven to have mental and physical health benefits in the following areas:
Many studies have been published supporting the use of performance arts therapies. Research shows these therapies can help to:
At BHWC we offer Singing Groups every Saturday run by Sing for Better Heath. The Singing Groups are open to all and require no previous experience or talent in singing.
Apart from having a lot of fun singing songs together, they offer their members a tool box of gentle exercises to relax and to free the body, breath and voice. There is a lot of evidence that singing benefits health and wellbeing in many different ways, with over a hundred research projects published in recent years. Research by the Sidney De Haan Research Centre For Arts and Health and others shows that singing improves posture, increases mobility, reduces pain, improves breathing and lung function. It strengthens the immune system, improves mood, relieves depression and isolation, reduces stress levels and boosts confidence.
We are also lucky enough to work with Finding your Compass who run courses in dance and drawing for people with mental health issues. This leads to a performance for camera that is made into a short film combining movement, costumes and drawings made by participants. No previous experience is required. Please contact us if you are interested in either of the above.
If you are struggling with a mental health issue you might consider adding something different to your current treatment plan. In small, safe groups you can work with expert artists, teachers and technicians on an art and movement project that leads to a film and exhibition. It could aid your recovery while inspiring you along the way. You do not need any prior experience; you will be taught everything you need to know to play your part in the art project. We run regular taster sessions for you to understand what's involved and to help you decide if you'd like to commit to the course of six two and a half hour sessions.
This is led by Fiona Geilinger and Rosaria Gracia of Finding Your Compass.
Phone: 07854 542856