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Community psychology and participatory arts: well-being and creativity

Kagan, Carolyn and Sixsmith, Judith and Siddiquee, Asiya and Bol, Simone and Lawthom, Rebecca and Kilroy, Amanda (2005) Community psychology and participatory arts: well-being and creativity. [Conference or Workshop Item] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper describes an action research project involving a team of community psychologists from Manchester Metropolitan University and a participatory, community based arts project for people with mental health problems - the Pathways project. As identified in Figure 1, it was anticipated that the link between participation in arts would have in indirect impact on mental well being and social inclusion. Previous work has found that arts impacts on mental health via: enhancing motivation, greater feelings of connectedness, a more positive outlook and reduced fear, isolation and anxiety (Angus, 2002; CAHHM, 2003; HDA, 1999;Huxley, 1997; Huxley and Thornicroft, 2003 ; Matarrasso,1997; White, 2003, 2004). The evaluation was undertaken in the context a programme of work we are engaged in, that seeks to contribute to an 'evidence base' for the arts and mental health work (Geddes, 2004).

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