The conversations keep coming….
Stigma-defying conversations about mental health and conversations about art and creativity maintaining, if not accelerating, the momentum that seems to have been generated in recent weeks and months.
As and when it is live and operational, Making Minds is coming at a good time.
This week, we received a strong indication that there is work for us to do in the South Wales Valleys. You need only look at figures from the last few years to see that the Valleys have the highest prescribing rates for anti-depressants in the UK. Ours is not to reason why, but to identify the opportunities to change and improve.
If more people were having conversations about mental health, over time, the stigma would lessen, more people would recover more quickly and realise a more meaningful and fulfilling lifepath. One thing that is needed, is more opportunities, sources, events and locations for those conversations to take place in the first instance. This is where art and creativity comes in.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s something that’s been created or hosted by someone with a mental health issue, or is something that is based on a mental health theme, it’s the fact that an event, painting, song, story, sculpture, live performamce, film…whatever….gets people talking about mental health, openly or subconsciously, that really lights the touchpaper. Think about it…..whatever your understanding of art and creativity, whatever ‘level’ you think you attain and whatever reason you pick up a brush, pen, iPad, guitar, camera, piece of clay.
Academic research into the 2007 Scottish Mental Health Film & Arts Festival, shows that such an event, a collaborative effort, can have a positive effect on mental health stigma. We have the means and talent in Wales to pull off something similar and to do so much more in the coming years.
We need to keep talking.