Creatively Minded and the NHS

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Cutler D

Year of Publication:

Baring Foundation

Publication Type:


This new report from the Baring Foundation, aims to highlight some examples of NHS organisations which offer people with mental health problems creative opportunities as part of a richer, more holistic approach to recovery, and to ask some initial questions about whether and how this work could be replicated and strengthened.
The Baring Foundation usually publishes reports based on the experience of participatory arts organisations. This report seeks to balance this by focusing on the role and experience of NHS organisations in creativity with and by people with mental health problems. It is published during the Covid-19 pandemic which has led to worsening levels of mental ill-health and therefore likely increasing demand for both medical and non-medical approaches.

The report features 15 NHS Trusts from across the UK which offer a range of creative artist-led programmes in secondary care and primary care, to patients but also involving staff, and across many art forms. It recommends:
The Arts Councils of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland should consider the relevance of the strategic approach to collaboration with the NHS taken by the Arts Council of Wales to their national contexts
All Mental Health Trusts should employ an Arts Coordinator
Arts Coordinators in Mental Health Trusts should network both within nations and across the UK.And, similarly, Recovery Colleges should exchange good practice on arts and creativity through a network or conference
Mental Health Trusts should explore how Creative Arts Therapists and Participatory Artists can most productively share their differing skills and support each other to the benefit of patients.

Main Focus: Mental Health

Research Purpose: Discussion / Debate

Context: Community

Art Forms: Multi-Arts

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Cutler,D. (2021). Creatively Minded and the NHS. An overview of participatory arts offered by the NHS to people with mental health problems. UK: Baring Foundation.