Well-being through creative activity

Why are we here?

Not a philosophical question about human existence but a consideration of who S2C is for. I was filling in some funding applications recently (a hobby of mine) and of course they all want to know how many people the project will help and what group/section/illness etc your project will support. This is a really important thing to clarify because the majority of funders I have criteria by which they grant funds. There is no point applying for a grant from a funder who’s focus is under 18’s with low self esteem in Brighton when doing a project to boost self esteem in the over 50’s in Kendal.

So this started me thinking about who S2C is actually for. A difficult question. Difficult because the people who come to us have many common reasons but also very differing reasons at the same time. So then I started to think of the individuals who had been in the past or were coming to sessions now. Why did they need S2C and what did we give them?

We have mainly been associated with mental health but over our existence have shifted into wellbeing. The terms, I feel are very different, though both relate to the state of your mind. I always feel wellbeing is a more rounded and whole person thing where mental health relates more to specific conditions though good mental health is important to wellbeing, equally good physical health is too, friendship, feeling useful, having purpose, good housing, relationships……..it goes on.

So we have a lot of people with a variety of mental health issues ranging from bipolar, schizophrenic, depression, self harming and many others. We don’t deal directly with those conditions but rather support people through them. There are four points we may see somebody with a mental health issue. Firstly when they are, for want of a better expression, on the way down. Attending S2C might help them reduce the effects of their condition, making sure they are at least not alone and are distracted for some of the time. It’s possible that the severity of a condition might be lessened. Secondly when that person is being treated for a condition. This might be while being supported by a CPN or support worker or when they are on the psychiatric ward. Again it’s that safe place to go and be supported in a positive environment helping people get through difficult times. On the ward we again offer that distraction and positive input. Thirdly on the way back up into recovery. We are there to help people rebuild social skills, confidence esteem and a positive outlook.

Having focused on mental health a lot of physical conditions can have similar isolating, confidence lowering effects as a mental health condition. We have individuals who have come to us with a range of physical illness, disability or conditions that have left them in need to of the same safe place, friendship and community.

Then of course there are people who have been isolated by circumstances. divorce, redundancy, those things that happen in life that leave people a little lost and maybe reduced confidence. They might be caring for somebody.

There is of course no reason why any person can’t come along and join in from a purely art motivated point of view. Finding the time and inspiration to create can be difficult sometimes. It can be that attending sessions gives that motivation and inspiration needed to be creative.

Reading that back it barely scratches the surface. Yet there are common themes regardless of the cause of self esteem, self confidence, loneliness, isolation, low wellbeing,  social exclusion, insecurity, poor motivation, lack of opportunity………..

So that is where we sit. ready to welcome those people in and do our best to make sure that they leave a little better than when they walked in.

This weeks inspired:

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