The Finding Your Compass project explores a creative road to management and recovery from mental health conditions. The arts are used as both a communications tool and as a mechanism for supporting mental wellbeing.
GP referred (and sometimes self referred) patients tell their stories, through movement and drawing (supporting lateral thinking and problem solving), their reflections (providing further detail in personal narratives) and moving and still images (translating these experiences into an artistic outcome). In doing so, the participants gain self-confidence, which both reinforces a sense of belonging and raises awareness within the audience.
The project works with the NHS GP surgery, the Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre, who recently won the ‘Innovators of the Year’ award for their Healing Arts Programme at the National General Practice Awards 2014.
The focal aim of FYC is to investigate how mental health experiences and coping mechanisms can be expressed through movement and drawing. The outcomes are then made into an animated short film after the workshops, combining silhouetted live action and drawings. Some courses lead to an output of drawings and photographs.
The weekly sessions explore all the components of the FYC process from discussing the topic, to representing it through movement, drawing and printing.
The immersive project follows a similar process to the weekly sessions but a bigger commitment is required in attendance. The immersive project always concludes with the production of a high quality artistic output, being a short film, stills or live performance depending on the participants and issues covered.