© Bristol Men's Art Therapy Service 2019

Pilot Project 2018

Overview

Introduction

The project took place between November 2017 - December 2018; the aim was to develop and assess a bespoke art therapy service within St Mungo's over a 12 month period in the form of a five-phase pilot.

 

The project was entirely self-funded - including the cost of monthly clinical supervision. All art materials, room access and storage, as well as email, telephone, and printing facilities were provided by St Mungo's.

The Five-Phases

Aims & Objectives

  • Short term (3 months) - to establish a weekly art therapy group at the Men's Crisis House, develop a model of working with the​ staff team

  • Mid-term (6 months) - to establish an additional follow-up group at the Recovery College, provide regular experiential training sessions for staff in order to raise the profile of art therapy within the service and allow staff to make informed referrals

  • Long-term (12 months) - to review the Men's Crisis House and Recovery College services, to establish individual art therapy sessions, to establish solid working relationships with referees within St Mungo's men's services, to work with St Mungo's staff and management to develop an ideal structure of men's therapy services across multiple locations (that will form the basis for BMATS 2019), establish links with key men's mental health services across Bristol)

Evaluation

The 12-month pilot has given valuable insight into the ways in which art therapy can support client's recovery within a range of contexts. The weekly group at the Men's Crisis House has provided a unique addition to the service that has had clear benefits to clients and their support staff. Through the Recovery College groups we have developed a clear and comprehensive systems of referral, assessment and therapy provision working in partnership with our client's support staff - a model that can be utilised going-forward. The Recovery College group has provided therapeutic continuity for those leaving the Crisis House wishing to continue to engage in art therapy.

 

The offer of individual art therapy sessions is a vital inclusion to the service, aiding an individual's recovery by allowing them space to explore more complex and long-standing issues in greater depth. The role of formal staff training has been central to both raising awareness of the men's art therapy service within St Mungo's and in ensuring St Mungo's staff are able to make informed and appropriate referrals.

The Future

We are now seeking to secure funding that will allow us to continue and develop our service in partnership with St Mungo's in 2019.​ We hope to create a service that can reach as many men as possible across the Bristol area, we hope to do so by offing art therapy in a range of contexts within a coherent therapeutic pathway. In practical terms we are looking to;

 

  • Continue the weekly art therapy group at the Men's Crisis House, with the ability to offer additional individual review sessions when appropriate

  • Run a referral-only men's art therapy group at the Recovery College for men currently in support services (St Mungo's, Junction Project, Second Step), the group would run in blocks of 10 weeks consisting of 8 art therapy sessions followed by 2 review sessions where the individuals can review their progress and decide whether they wish to continue or to move on (this provides an opportunity to sign-post to other services at the Recovery College)

  • Offer regular formal CPD training sessions to St Mungo's staff as an 'Introduction to Art Psychotherapy' to allow their teams to make informed and appropriate referrals to the services we provide

One of the findings of the pilot was the need to provide a services on a needs basis, meaning groups are established to meet the needs of clients rather than client's being sought to fill a group. For this reason we would allow;

  • The flexibility to create additional site-groups in St Mungo's services, specifically for clients based geographically far from the centre, or those who would benefit from an in-house rather than community context - these groups would be tailored and evaluated in-line with the objectives of the service and the specific needs of their clients

  • The flexibility to provide individual art therapy sessions at the Recovery College when appropriate, working with a designated key professional involved in their care to identify specific challenges and to support their recovery

  • The flexibility to carry out assessments, reviews, and meetings with support staff as necessary

Partnership working is a key part of our work, therefore we would need to;

  • Meet with each client's support team / designated key professional and establish an on-going working relationship while their client is engaged in art therapy - the frequency of contact would be largely dependent on the context and needs of the client, however a clear plan would be established prior to therapy

  • Work with service managers to establish clear therapeutic pathways for St Mungo's clients moving between services