Mind exhibition paints picture of mixed quality care on inpatient wards
Posted Tuesday 8 February 2005
Competition winners to be announced at today's reception
Artists from across the UK will today attend a reception and exhibition of their works in central London. The exhibition, organised by Mind, shows 19 shortlisted works from the charity's 'Ward Watch' art competition.
The competition was launched last year to give mental health service users the opportunity to express their feelings about being in hospital through the medium of art. The response was overwhelming with over 200 entries of very high quality.
Georgina Pope and Johanna Kociejowski of the Dulwich Picture Gallery will be judging the shortlisted entries and selecting a winner and a runner-up. Both will receive artists' materials kindly donated by London Art Limited and Jackson's Art Supplies.
Activities such as art, music and drama therapy are among the top three therapies rated as helpful by users of mental health services (1).
Richard Brook, Chief Executive of Mind said:
"Art and creativity can be an important means of self-expression for people with mental health problems, and can help break the stigma surrounding mental ill health. We are delighted to welcome the shortlisted artists to their exhibition. Sadly, however, on the whole their work does not paint a very attractive picture of life on a mental health ward."
The competition forms part of Mind's ongoing 'Ward Watch' campaign highlighting the disturbing conditions still prevalent on many mental health wards. A major problem patients or former patients have reported was the extreme level of boredom on many psychiatric wards. Art and other creative therapies can be valuable ways to combat this boredom.
1. Research for Mind's My Choice campaign 2002. The top five alternatives to medication rated by respondents were: counselling, group therapy, art/music/drama therapy, psychotherapy and aromatherapy.