Arrow ImageAcute, PICU and Rapid Response

Posted on Oct 1 2018 by Bobbie Kelly

Service user to display striking photography work

A service user from St Andrew’s Healthcare will be exhibiting his photographic work in Cambridge next month, in recognition of World Mental Health Day.

The free art exhibition – organised by CBM and BasicNeeds – aims to raise awareness and much needed funds to support people living with mental health conditions in the world’s poorest communities.

The 14 artists exhibiting works all have lived experience or an interest in mental health. The artists have a range of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bipolar disorder and psychosis and they use their creativity as a means of therapy.

James* is currently being supported by St Andrews’ Healthcare, a charity providing specialist mental healthcare for patients with some of the most challenging mental health needs in the UK.

Adam Taylor, Visual Arts Specialist at St Andrew’s, worked closely with James on his photography. Adam explained: “Getting involved with this exhibition has been a unique opportunity for our service users to get their work out in public exhibitions and to recognise some of their talents. I worked with James for over five months to produce a series of photos, and I know that he feels very honoured by this opportunity - it has certainly giving him a big confidence boost.”

James’ work has been well received by members of the public attending the exhibition. Adam explained: “It has been the most spoken about piece of work exhibited. His work sold during the private viewing evening, and other people have enquired about purchasing his work.

The types of art being exhibited include acrylic paintings, oil paintings, photographic prints and pastel drawings.

Mental health conditions are a leading cause of disability worldwide, severely affecting people’s quality of life and often leading to immense stigmatisation and suffering. 80% people with mental illness live in low- or middle-income countries, with little or no access to treatment or support. CBM and BasicNeeds are working together to tackle mental illness in the world’s poorest communities, including educating communities, training health workers, setting up self-help groups and supporting people living with mental illness and their families.

The Mind the Gap art exhibition will be taking place at Michaelhouse Centre on Trinity Street, in Cambridge 1 – 13 October.

*not his real name.
St Andrew’s Healthcare provides specialist mental healthcare for people with complex mental health needs. We are a charity, and so any profit we make is reinvested into patient care; we have no shareholders or owners to pay dividends to, which means that we can always put our patients first.

To ensure our patients lead meaningful, enjoyable lives, with hope for the future both during their time at St Andrew's and on discharge, we work hard to ensure each person in our care can access different experiences and opportunities. To find out more, visit the patient section on our website.