Celf a’r meddwl | Arts and minds - a new programme for the arts and mental health

The seven NHS health boards of Wales have been awarded funding from Celf a’r meddwl | Arts and minds - a new Baring Foundation - Arts Council of Wales programme.  The programme aims to support better mental health in Wales and is supported by the National Lottery.

Building on a successful collaboration through the cARTrefu, arts in care homes project, the Arts Council of Wales is delighted to renew its partnership with the Baring Foundation with the announcement of projects centred on the arts and mental health.

Through strong alliances with the NHS in Wales, this programme will allow our Health Boards to work with artists and arts organisation to come up with ways of improving the lives of people with mental health conditions. The total value of this first round of the programme is £200,000 with the Baring Foundation and Arts Council of Wales contributing £100,000 each.

Commenting today, Phil George, Chair Arts Council of Wales said:

“Thanks to the Baring Foundation and the National Lottery’s players, who raise £36 million each week for good causes across the UK, we will be able to make a difference to people experiencing mental health problems in Wales through the healing and life-enhancing power of creative activity.

“This new programme is a key part of our Arts and Health strategy in Wales. As always, we will work in close collaboration with our partners in the NHS to explore how creativity can support better mental health – and we hope gradually to persuade our health partners to invest further in arts interventions which so clearly deliver health and wellbeing benefits”.

David Cutler, Director of the Baring Foundation also said:

“Our recent research, Creatively Minded and the NHS, noted the impressive progress made by Wales in creating a strategic collaboration between the NHS and the arts, which we see as a model for the rest of the UK. We are therefore delighted to be partnering with the Arts Council of Wales in a programme that will develop the provision of creative opportunities available through the NHS to people with mental health problems across Wales.”

Sally Lewis, Head of the Arts and Health programme for the Arts Council of Wales said:

“I am delighted that this programme will support projects in all seven NHS Health Boards in Wales so that people experiencing mental health problems will benefit from engaging in the arts.

“The projects aim to make a difference to the lives of a wide range of people across Wales including new parents and babies; children with eating disorders and self-harming behaviours as well as adults living with poor mental health. This is an ambitious, collaborative, long-term programme that explores how creative arts activities can be integrated into mental health services within the NHS in Wales. By making available regular project funding to the 7 health boards across Wales, we hope to establish a culture of commissioning artists to deliver high quality, creative interventions to support people’s mental health in Wales.


Details of the projects supported in this first round of this new fund can be seen below:

Aneurin Bevan UHB - Parent Infant Mental Health Arts Project. Creative activities to support parental identity and attachment between parent and child, focusing on mothers with postnatal depression and psychosis, new fathers and those experiencing the impact of COVID.
Betsi Cadwaladr UHB - Mental Health Arts on Prescription. A plan for long-term arts activities in community settings.
Cardiff & Vale UHB- Creative activities to support Adult mental health. Movement and music activities for users of the Neuropsychiatry Department; building the arts offer at the Recovery College and boosting public-facing mental health support through the arts.
Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB- Creativity for Mental Health. A creative programme to support the transition of patients with mental health diagnoses back into the community.
Hywel Dda UHB- Art Boost. An arts in mental health programme for children and young people living with eating disorders, self-harming behaviours, low mood and/or having suicidal feelings.
Powys THB - Out of the Blue. Creative activities to support people in Powys experiencing grief and bereavement as a result of suicide.
Swansea Bay UHB- Here is Hope. An arts-based staff suicide prevention programme.

The Baring Foundation is an independent foundation which protects and advances human rights and promotes inclusion. Since 2020, the Foundation has focused its Arts programme on creative opportunities for people with mental health problems. We regularly publish research, including recently, Creatively Minded and the NHS: An overview of participatory arts offered by the NHS to people with mental health problems.

Arts Council of Wales is the official public body charged with funding and supporting the arts in Wales.

For more information, please contact the Arts Council of Wales Press Office: comms@arts.wales 029 2044 1344/1307. To find out more about the Baring Foundation, please visit www.baringfoundation.org.uk or email harriet.lowe@ing.com