Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 – Our Theme: Art and Mental Health

This year Mental Health Awareness Week runs from Monday 15th to Sunday 21st May and our theme for 2023 will be Art and Mental Health. During the week we will be looking at the hugely beneficial impact art and creativity can have on mental health and wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 – Our Theme: Art and Mental Health

We’ll be asking people who use our services to share the ways that creating art has helped them, whether that is within therapy setting or just as a hobby. We’ll be looking at how art in all its forms can be an effective way to express lived experiences and emotions while also being an enjoyable activity that positively influences mental wellbeing.

Together works alongside people in a variety of service types including advocacy, accommodation, in the community and in criminal justice settings. This means the people we support have varied life experiences and backgrounds and the situations in which our staff engage with them and the type of support they provide, can be different depending on the individual. In all of these varied circumstances our teams have consistently seen the inspiring ways that art and creativity in many formats can help people in dealing with trauma and maintaining mental wellbeing. So whether that is in forms like painting, photography, sculpture, poetry, storytelling, music or anything in between, we want to celebrate the ways people have expressed themselves and the benefits they’ve felt from that.

As well as exploring the positive affects people have experienced from creating art themselves, we will also look to highlight how appreciating and taking in art can be integral to mental wellbeing.  It could be attending the theatre, cinema or a concert, or just enjoying cultural items like books, film, TV or music. We will be sharing ways these benefit mental health for people who use our services – from individual enjoyment to sharing with peers. During the week we’ll also invite staff from across our services to share ways engaging with art has helped them in supporting people.

The theme of art and mental health will also be the focus of our new event, the Henry Hawkins Lecture 2023. This will be the first event in an annual lecture series that will be hosted at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in central London on the 13th of September. The programme will feature speakers exploring the relationship between art and creativity and the valuable influence and impact this can have to someone’s mental wellbeing. We’ll also be displaying some of the art people who use our services have created.

We’ll be sharing updates on our theme with the hashtag #ArtAndMentalHealth and would welcome contributions from people outside of Together who’d also like to share ways art has aided their mental health and wellbeing.