We are unique!
The Outcomes for The Art Studios
Before coming to The Art Studios many clients had trouble just getting out of the house. The Studios programs provide people with structure, enjoyment, community and a safe respectful place to grow. For example, statistics from Spring 2016 show how Recovery Through Art works!
- 10 clients are now employed as instructors
- 15 clients now volunteer as class assistant, mentor, and peer support worker
- 44 clients are showing art in the community
- 10 clients are organizing public exhibitions
- 8 clients are in an advisory committee
- 10 clients have gone on to university or college level learning
- 5 clients now teach art in the community
- 30 clients started part-time jobs
- 5 clients resumed completion of Masters and PhD programs
- 20 clients opened their own studio or set up a home studio
- 20 clients sold a significant number of artworks to the public
Why The Art Studios is unique
It is a therapeutic haven for people living with mental health illnesses and addiction
All classes and workshops are overseen by occupational therapists who ensure a safe and non-judgmental environment. As well, they connect and involve clients with their own recovery by setting goals that give hope for the future. During the classes professional staff may help with things such as interpersonal issues and anxiety management, abilities that help clients integrate into the larger community.
It is more than a leisure program; it is a way of healing
Studies show a link between mental illness and creativity. During classes, participants can become more outgoing at their own pace and make friendships. The classes give structure to the day – clients get out of the house because they enjoy The Art Studios and know someone cares when they don’t come. The warm and caring classroom setting is quickly familiar to everyone, reducing anxiety. And developing art skills builds confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
The clients give back
The Studios are proud to say that nearly all classes are taught by teachers and assistants who have been Art Studios’ clients. By volunteering and teaching, alumni rebuild their lives and further their recovery. They also are very effective role models for students, who know their own challenges are understood. And clients formed the Recovery Through Art Society to make sure The Art Studios thrives.
Art is a lifelong skill
Mental illness and addiction diagnoses present lifelong struggles. By learning art skills, clients have a healthy activity they can engage in throughout their lives. Many art activities need little equipment so cost need not be a barrier, and learning about art can open up a world of beauty and human connection to last a life-time.
Art brings you outside yourself
When clients make art they are engaging in thoughts ‘outside’ themselves. Noticing colour and form, feeling the clay, brush, or pencil in hand helps them break away from the ‘inside’ thoughts that may not be helpful. This effect lasts longer than the art activity itself, and helps clients see the world around them with more appreciation.
The Studios teach more than art
The occupational therapists offer Skills Development Workshops covering topics such as mindfulness, communication skills, conflict resolution and assertiveness. They also help clients put on two art sales a year. These are joyous, successful, anti-stigma and outreach events that teach participants such things as decision-making, marketing skills and how to interact with the public.
And The Recovery Through Art Society is unique too!
Recovery Through Art is a success story of mental health clients creating a not-for-profit society to give back and to make sure The Art Studios survives for others in the future. The society has attracted skilled professionals from the greater community at the same time as it remains close to its roots. Recovery Through Art and The Art Studios cause engages such great passionate people!