Creative therapeutic support that individuals led by Spectrum People starting in Lockdown 1.0 and continuing throughout the year.
Art Therapy sessions were provided to use creative/artistic means of expression and reflection on the impact of the lockdown, particularly for those struggling with mental health difficulties.
17 participants engaged in the project, all experiencing increasing mental health symptoms as a result of the pandemic. Art Therapy was provided to meet individual needs spanning targeted trauma informed approaches to social justice approaches for between 8-20 weeks dependent on need of the individual.
Creative Connections took place in the Wakefield District, from Appletree community garden and allotments which offered a peaceful sanctuary within itself, and the perfect setting for therapy work. There was no specific age range for the project as to ensure it was as inclusive as possible. The youngest participant was 10, the eldest in their 80s. Spectrum People wanted to reach out to the community and offer different, more creative ways of expressing, managing and coping through the lockdown.
Utilising art, nature and poetry enabled the participants to express aspects of the experience of the lockdown restrictions that were too difficult to put into words. One of the participants used the sessions to build a collection of art works to exhibit in order to raise awareness of the impact of Covid-19 on mental health. Allowing them a vehicle to communicate individual and collective feelings around the pandemic and lockdown restrictions
‘When I first started Art Therapy, I was very anxious and fearful, I thought nothing could help. But being able to express my experiences in a safe place with a therapist who has been kind and supportive has been incredibly helpful. I used to feel constantly on edge, but now I feel calmer. It’s honestly saved my life”.
‘My work with [Spectrum People] has allowed me to be the most vulnerable I have ever been and to feel safe doing it. I really appreciate that. As an addict you can’t change without getting vulnerable’.