Aiding recovery with art therapy

Reproduced from BBC NEWS , Sunday, 16 February, 2003, 00:03 GMT

One of the photographs in the book

Creative art can be used to help people who have experienced mental health problems.
” It is a major aid on the road to recovery” Tony Russell

Now the talents of mental health patients have been marked in a book “Reflections,” which features the work of about 50 patients.
One in four people will experience some form of mental health problems at some point during their lives.
But Breakthrough Mental Health Patient Group, which has produced Reflections, says publicising the talents of people with mental health problems helps restore their self worth.

Big boost

About 50 artists contributed to the book
Breakthrough’s founder Tony Russell, who has himself suffered mental health problems, said the book would be an important boost to highlight the area of mental health.
“The tremendous lift given to people whose creative talent is appreciated and valued simply cannot be overestimated.
“It is a major aid on the road to recovery.
“I know from personal experience, the immense therapeutic value of creative writing, art and photography.”
Mr Russell, whose photographs are showcased in the book, said he hoped Reflections would showcase the talents of the mentally ill.

Many of the images are striking

“For a number of years now, I have visited many services which have given people the opportunity to participate in the creative arts.

“I have been fortunate enough to speak to many people, who share the view that involvement in the arts can provide very real and practical help in their recovery from their illness.

“By publishing this coffee table book we are able to continue with our objective of showcasing the talent of people who have experienced mental health problems.”

The books, which cost £20 each, can be ordered through BreakThrough-MentalHealth

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