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Local art trails receive ‘highly commended’ in national awards

Image of artist installation

The Now We’re Talking with Art campaign has been described as an ‘ innovative cross system, community-building project’ in the 2021 Self Care Innovation Awards.

The award aims to recognise and celebrate self-care innovation taking place in the community, to make a difference by empowering and inspiring people to self-care and in doing so, live their best and healthiest lives. Self Care Awards - Highly Commended

The Now We’re Talking campaign, run by the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, was nominated for its free public art trails that took place across Herefordshire and Worcestershire this year.

Aimed at raising awareness of mental health across the two counties the trails displayed artwork highlighting mental health difficulties, signposting the public to local services, and bringing footfall back to the local highstreets post pandemic.

The campaign impressed the judges with its ‘creative, engaging and colourful’ trails that brought physical and mental health together into a single activity. With over 78 partners and 68 venues which included local businesses and outdoor spaces, this campaign really was about the community working together to inspire people to self-help through creativity and exercise.

80 local artists and community groups produced bespoke pieces of artwork in a range of mediums including photography, fine art, graphics, and crafts that were displayed in shop windows and outside areas. Each piece of artwork was themed around a particular issue or condition and aimed to give a positive message around recovery.

Emily from Artist Club House said, “I have always struggled with my own mental health and part of my journey has been how creativity can help me smile through difficult times. I would like to encourage other people to do the same and I think the NHS Now We’re Talking with Art campaign married those ideas perfectly.”

Dawn Stallard, Team Lead within Healthy Minds said, “With 1 in 4 of us experiencing a mental health problem each year, it is important to normalise mental health and give people the resources and guidance to self-help. Doing weekly art-based activities can decrease feelings of anxiety and depression and give you a sense of engagement and social inclusion. You can view the list of self-help resources on the Now We’re Talking with Art website.”

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Healthy Minds NHS service provides a range of free, confidential support to people feeling low, anxious, worried, or depressed.

You can refer into Healthy Minds without needing to see another health professional first. If you live in Worcestershire call 0300 013 57 27 and for Herefordshire residents call 01432 347606. Alternatively visit the Healthy Minds website for more information.

View the full shortlist and winner on the Self Care Innovation Award website.

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