'When your mental & emotional health is already keeping you unsteady and Covid 19 strikes with a force of a hurricane, stranding you alone in your own home, the only thing that may keep you standing is your connection to others and the restorative effects of art.'
Your support via this funding will enable us to run a 3-month ‘Socially Distanced, Creatively Together’ programme of therapeutic arts for 120 participants, connecting them creatively whilst improving their mental & emotional wellbeing.
Inside Out Community
‘We believe in the power of the creative process to strengthen the spirit.’
Inside Out Community runs a range of well-being artistic workshops for people with emotional and mental health needs. The programme involves visual arts, music, creative writing, dance & movement, and is delivered by professional artists with a sensitivity to mental health issues.
Our groups are open to people recovering from mental ill health; experiencing a crisis of wellbeing; or who would like to access the healing powers of creativity to maintain positive mental and emotional wellbeing.
All workshops are free and open to any participants without a prior referral. In a safe, non-judgemental environment, participants engage in an artistic activity and receive beneficial effects of therapeutic arts.
Arts workshops run in Ipswich and the surrounding area. We are committed to promoting the benefits of arts for mental health in the wider population.
The mental health taboo
At some point in our lives, many of us or our family members experience a period of worsened emotional and mental health. This may be due to difficult life circumstances, illness, stress, bereavement and many other factors that life brings. Some of us may experience significant mental health issues for prolonged periods of our lives. Fortunately, we live in an age when counselling and therapy have reached the mainstream and mental health is no longer viewed as a 'shameful illness'. Instead it is seen as a state of being connected with a human condition. Mental and emotional wellbeing is something to strive for, something to nurture. This may be easier for those who have got strong family support, job safety or access to a good health care.
Art as a remedy
'The arts, creativity and imagination are agents of wellness: they keep the individual resilient, aid recovery and foster a flourishing society.'
The National Alliance for Arts & Health
Research and our own experience testify, that creative arts are helping people to recover from periods of overwhelming psychological distress and improving their wellbeing. The therapeutic effects of art include: improvements in self esteem, confidence, emotional steadiness, processing experience, social inclusion, positive identity and life enrichment.
Our vision and aim remains to provide an accessible, safe & inspiring space where anyone facing the sometimes overwhelming psychological challenges of living can come and explore the benefits of participating in arts.
Socially Distanced, Creatively Together programme
Traditionally, our workshops are face-to-face and take place in various locations in Ipswich.
With the Covid 19, came the sudden closure of our physical workshops. Starting as a pilot scheme in Spring 2020, we have gradually developed an alternative ‘Socially Distanced, Creatively Together’ programme, delivering art and emotional support to participants in the safety of their home. Our new programme reaches participants via a range of communication channels, enables them to connect with each other and share art & stories in the safe space of our community. Even with the easing of the government regulations, many of our participants fall into the vulnerable category and are either shielding or may feel anxious to attend physical workshops.
How will the money be used
This funding will enable us to run a 3 month ‘Socially distanced, Creatively Together’ programme for 120 members. This programme consists of online workshops, social media closed support groups, phone calls, email and text support, art & craft packages being delivered to their home.
The new funding will allow us to connect to participants who were not previously able to engage, with more staff support etc. and accommodate new participants.
Who will benefit from your support and how
Particularly in this time of greater anxiety, isolation and uncertainty caused by Covid-19, we are reaching out to our participants and the general public in order to offer the inspiration and emotional support through our creative arts programmes. We especially extend our invitation to those facing social or economical disadvantage. All our workshops are free, easily accessible with no referral needed.
Improved mental & emotional wellbeing
Participants will experience harmony and beauty through creating art. They will express their emotions and difficulties. In active participation they will revive their senses, follow new interests, discover new passions, whilst honouring their life experiences.
Improved sense of self
In interactions with the arts and other people, participants will strengthen their identity, sense of worth, build confidence and sense of achievement. They will be able to regain a degree of control and independence whilst exercising choices of subjects, art materials, techniques etc.
Increased social inclusion
In a safe, non-judgemental space, the participants will be able to build relationships, increase social interactions, engage in stimulating discussions and contribute to the community.
We invite active involvement of the members depending on their abilities and interests. They take part in exhibitions, bake cakes for events or donate artwork for fundraising. In many ways they contribute to the community, which builds up their sense of worth.
Why support this project
Mental and emotional health is a topic which is close to home and may affect any of us at some point of our life. By supporting our project, you are making a difference not only to our participants’ lives but improving the mental & emotional wellbeing of the wider community. Wellbeing is contagious, empowerment through art spreads to participants’ families and friends. Artwork and poetry they create, touch and inspire the lives of others, cross the social distances and connect us creatively together.