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By R. McDonnell

This booklet weaves jointly carrier clients' lived stories of psychological future health restoration and concepts approximately how inventive actions equivalent to artwork, song, and inventive analyzing and writing can advertise, quite inside of social and group settings.

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Additional resources for Creativity and Social Support in Mental Health: Service Users’ Perspectives

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Thornicroft et al. (2002) reported that ‘Arts as Therapies’ ranked fourth in a list of research topics spontaneously generated by service users in a nationwide study. Informants went on to identify areas where mental health services should further develop, and one of the most frequently cited statements was ‘provide something meaningful to do during the day’. The literature abounds with examples of studies and projects that resonate with such findings, from service user groups and charities as well as in the professional literature.

Morris suggests that the person is a ‘living being’, a ‘natural kind’, the result of ‘universal cognitive processes that all humans share’ (Morris 1994: 10). It is in this first ‘natural’ realm that biological embodiment and associated capacities for emotion, cognition and consciousness can be construed as underpinning all subsequent layers of being (Csordas 1990). His second aspect is that of self or person as ‘cultural category’ (Morris 1994: 11), and he outlines the evidence that ideas about personhood are shared representations.

But they are not the focus of this book. It is a more loosely conceptualised and indeed daily practised formation of arts and crafts as informal activities that we highlight in our analysis of creativity and mental health. Informal creativity is undoubtedly an additional therapeutic resource with a widespread and reportedly effective application. Furthermore, as Chapter 8 argues, it is in combination with environments which provide some form of social support and opportunities for regular social contact that these activities seem to work best.

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