For more than twenty years Art Angel has been at the forefront of supporting people with mental health problems in their attempts to get better and stay well through active participation in the arts. From the outset we have seen ourselves as a project run for and by people with lived experience of mental ill-health, and as such feel we can rightly claim to be like no other organisation of its kind.
Key working practices such as - continuity, long-term working in a non-clinical setting, offering support for people from the age of 16 up and aiming for standards of artistic excellence - are the natural result of listening to what people say. Given a chance, each individual is the best person to take decisions about themselves – people don’t want to be observed, they want to be listened to; people don’t want short term support, they want to be trusted to decide when they no longer need support; people don’t like uncertainty, they like to know what to expect. We know this because they tell us.
People come to Art Angel because they want to, because it is an attractive, safe place full of people who do not judge, where they can learn or re-learn to be themselves through making art. It is a place where people know they are mentored by excellent, experienced staff who can share skills, listen and motivate, using high quality materials in a safe and friendly environment. We regularly see people begin to take responsibility for their own lives; taking decisions based on hope, which benefit not only themselves but all of their friends, family and communities in which they live.