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Research: Evaluating Well-Being and Social Inclusion

Recovery and Creative Practices in People with Severe Mental Illness: Evaluating Well-Being and Social Inclusion

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PMID: 28637124


Purpose: This mixed (quantitative-qualitative) study evaluates the impact of an artistic workshop on a group of people with severe mental illness (SMI). This study focuses on the impact of creative practices on well-being and social inclusion outcomes.

Method: After participating in a creative workshop, 31 people diagnosed with an SMI completed pre/post-intervention measures, namely, the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale and the Social Inclusion questionnaire. It was applied in two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance. The statistic Wilcoxon and Kruskal-Wallis were applied for non-parametric data to measure pre/post-test effects and workshop experience effects, respectively. In addition to quantitative measures, one observer participated in each workshop that ran in parallel in order to deepen and triangulate quantitative outcomes.

Results: The qualitative and quantitative results show that social inclusion improved in a significant way with an important side effect. Psychological wellbeing increased significantly with a low side effect.

Conclusions: In accordance with these results, creative practices with people diagnosed with SMI are recommended. In order to increase the impact of these interventions, it is recommended to utilize public space away from clinical environments and to include people without SMI in creative activities together with SMI patients. Implications for Rehabilitation: Creative practices can significantly improve social inclusions and well-being in people with severe mental illness. Participating in creative workshops helps to elaborate personal meanings and promote recovery. Creative practices in mental health services can challenge professional roles and institutional practices. Participation of people with and without severe mental illness engaged together in artistic activities can decrease public stigma.

To tie in with the idea of social inclusion and community building, Art in the Loft of Alpena, Michigan will be offering a an "Introduction to Film" series, cohosted by Zachary Irving and Kara Bauer LeMonds beginning April 7th. More details about this event can be found here - and be sure to check back on Art in the Loft's website for updates!

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