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 In 2015 we were invited to take part in the third annual Lewisham Mental Health Conference “Speaking Out & Creating Community" event at the Civic Suite.

A day of workshops and talks. We heard from influential voices from the Mental Health community, such as, Cllr Jonathan Slater:Lewisham Councillor & Lewisham Mental Health Champion, Sebastian Sandys: London Equalities & Training Coordinator for Time to Change and Kenny Gregory: CCG Joint Commissioning Lead for adult mental health commissioning & funding in Lewisham.

 For one day, conference room one was transformed into the “Arts & Self-Expression Zone” a welcoming space including a workshop and small gallery of members work was on display.

 Throughout the day conference attendees were invited to share their experiences of mental health and services in lewisham, asked ‘what makes you happy?', but to also have fun and meet new people!

They were asked to put the thoughts onto fabric, and the results were stunning!

All contributions will be used to help make a Lewisham Mental Health Connection banner, to be displayed at the next LMHC event.

Thank you to everybody who took part and your kind words of support.


When asked about the workshop

‘good Therapy’
‘I like the guitar playing’
‘calming friendly atmosphere’
‘everybody very helpful’
‘relaxing, creating and sharing environment’
‘enjoyed doing the art’
‘talking to people, making friends’
‘glad to get the chance to come’
‘feeling free to colour in’
‘I don't think it could have been better’

When asked - What did you learn?

‘I’m ok’
‘learn to express myself in a new way!’
‘how to access Arts Networks workshops’
‘express myself in art’
‘to relax and draw’
‘gossip, social skills, progress’
‘to stand up for myself.  I will try’

Mo and Judy attempted to arrange the patches to read 'LMHC' but there were far to many contributions and we wanted to display them all.

 The artwork was displayed at the end of the conference. 

The conference finale was a viewing of an animation produced by Arts Network members.
'school of Animation'


Click Here find out more about the making of this film.

A special mention to Sarah, who designed the event logo. 
She has some inspiring things to say about how art has played a part in her recovery.

"Tibetan monks created mandalas as a tool for gaining wisdom and compassion. The intricate geometric designs were made using coloured sand and when they were done they would wipe it all away.
"My situation in supported accommodation is temporary much like the mandala; however it is important that I make it meaningful and gain as much as I can from it. I do this through building a community, a strong network of support in which I can continue to learn and grow, so I am able to fulfil my hopes and dreams for the future. 
"I use arts and crafts, not only as a way of soothing my anxiety and allowing myself to focus on a task, but as a way of speaking out about my mental health. During the times I am creating something I am able to speak freely and make connections through a common ground.”

Many Thanks

Special Thanks 
To the members and co-facilitators of Arts Network who contributed their art and their time

For more info about this event, head over to A caring Mind Blog
   by Matthew McKenzie