Promoting mental health through an inner city community arts programme: a narrative inquiry

Stickley, Theodore (2008) Promoting mental health through an inner city community arts programme: a narrative inquiry. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The focus of this study is a community arts programme, Art in Mind, which is based in an inner-city area of an East Midlands city in the UK and was funded by the government's New Deal for the Communities. The aim of the qualitative research study was to gain understanding of the human processes involved in setting up such a project and to ascertain the subsequent benefits to participants. The research was conducted in two stages: stage one involved semi-structured interviews with seven of the original Art in Mind Steering Group members and stage two comprised interviews with eleven participants who were interviewed up to three times over a one-year period. Sixteen people were interviewed in total. The findings from participants are presented as a case-series. Interviewees included those who subsequently became members of the 'Lost Artists Club', one of the community-based activities that originated within the project and those who engaged with an 'Arts on Prescription' programme. In both stages, a total of 35 qualitative interviews were conducted.

The concept of mental health promotion through the arts is examined in the context of national developments to promote social inclusion. The methodological framework for the research is a narrative inquiry and emphasis is given to the stories that are individually and collectively constructed and recounted by the participants. All the data were subject to a narrative analysis, incorporating thematic, event and relational analysis. Individual and collective narratives are presented.

Findings from stage one of the research identify the personal motivations of Steering Group members to develop the programme. Findings from stage two of the research reveal that the project facilitated new personal, social and occupational opportunities for participants. Identity claims are strong, as people have re-constructed themselves as artists. Participants enjoy a sense of belonging and social identity with like-minded people.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Hall, C.A.
Freshwater, D.
Keywords: Mental health, community arts
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General). For photography, see TR
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 10542
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2008
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2017 11:46

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