What We Do
Arts on Prescription
Artlift is a specialist creative health charity co-producing projects and courses for people living with mental health challenges, long-term chronic pain and/or who are living with or moving on from cancer.
We have honed our approach to Arts on Prescription by co-producing with health sector partners and people with lived experience. We also continually reflect and work to improve positive impact on our participants’ health and wellbeing through anaylsis of data shared with long-term partner University of Gloucestershire.
Artlift provides Arts on Prescription courses and multi-arts projects through which participants can move into a different space in their minds and/or in life!
We embed as much choice as possible into our programmes and courses, offering them in as many locations across the county as possible (when able to work face-to-face) and drawing on various arts activities including drawing and painting, arts and crafts, creative writing, hip hop artforms, carnival arts, etc. We focus on creativity rather than technical skill and participants can choose a group to suit their schedule and interests. No skill, talent or experience in the arts is needed.
Most of our participants benefit from working in online or community-based groups. Each person has access to:
- 10 weekly sessions
- Up to 3 x Creative Check-ins one-to-one with their Artist, which draw on a health coaching approach enabling the setting of light touch goals
We also employ a Creative Navigator who works alongside people who are facing more complex mental health issues, who are unable to access groups, and/or who are struggling to find a ways forwards with their pain management. Whilst the benefits of being in groups is proven through our evaluation, we recognise that some people may need to start by working 1:1 and/or need a longer-term, tailored programme of Arts on Prescription.
All Artlift participants are supported to sustain their peer connections, arts practice and thereby wellbeing, through:
- Artist advice and guidance documents/templates to support establishment of ‘Move On’ plans or groups
- Access to private / password protected online groups and resources (including signposting information and arts activity resources)
Arts on Prescription is different from Art Therapy
We provide a safe space where our trained artists use creativity to support the mental and / or physical wellbeing of each person who joins us. We focus on the activity and / or the social interaction, not on a participant’s medical condition.
Most people join our groups, usually with a maximum of twelve people, working alongside an Artlift artist. The focus is on the creativity and arts activities. Participants report an appreciation of focusing on positive activities alongside people who have some shared understanding and/or experience. Click here to find out more about courses and projects currently running
Workplace Wellbeing packages
Artlift provides a range online and/or in-house packages to support corporate companies, public sector, and health organisations to improve or maintain the mental health and wellbeing of staff. These include:
- 3 – 6 week courses with tailored content
- 1-off tasters or Workplace Wellbeing days
- Training and consultancy for in-house staff to enable longer-term, cost-effective delivery of arts activities for wellbeing
Impact on sector development
As one of the longest-running Arts on Prescription providers in the UK, Artlift actively seeks to ensure our learning and expertise is shared. We do so through:
- Providing Artist residencies and consultancy through which to grow knowledge, expertise and confidence in delivery of Arts on Prescription in other areas (e.g. through a Public Health supported partnership in Wiltshire)
- A 13+ year relationship with the University of Gloucestershire, who regularly analyse our shared data and public papers. Click here to see some of the papers and reports on Artlift
- Contributing to national events and studies that advance thinking in the sector, e.g. the MARCH Network 2019 Arts on Prescription conference at the Royal Society of Public Health
- Working with partners and consortia to share and push forwards best practice, including:
- Gloucestershire Creative Health Consortium
- A national micro-network of Arts & Mental Health focused providers led by Arts Network
Want to find out more or get involved?
- If you’re a potential participant and would like to refer yourself, please visit our courses page (where you can download a self-referral form for our Mental Health or Flourish programmes), or contact us on 03000 200 102 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are a professional working with a patient / service user you feel would benefit from Arts on Prescription, please click here for information on how to refer
- If you are an organisation or company interested in booking our services, please: click here to find out more about Workplace Wellbeing packages.