Creative ways to support mental health

Posted: 20th December 2016

Creative ways to support mental health

hArt is a charity set up in October 2014, which aims to support mental health needs in adults and children of all ages and all abilities.   We are based in the New Forest but cover all of Hampshire and have delivered work in Dorset where we are a spot-purchasing service for Bournemouth Borough Council.   We are looking forward to working in Wiltshire in the coming year as well.

We take our services out into the more rural areas where access to mental health support is less available, often  because of transport difficulties.   We work with adults with mental health needs both indoors and outdoors, and have delivered a pilot project in collaboration with the New Forest National Park Authority.   We have a number of highly skilled professional art psychotherapists able to work in a variety of disciplines – and we can offer drama therapy, music therapy, integrative arts therapy together with child psychotherapists and occupational therapists who all work with the creative arts to support mental health.   Our clients range from groups to individuals, and we work with those living with dementia and their carers to looked-after children, children who have been affected by domestic abuse, vulnerable women, people recovering from substance misuse and those with learning disabilities, any many others.

Creative therapies offer a wonderful way to express feelings and emotions which sometimes cannot be put into words, and the professional therapist will provide a safe and non-judgmental environment in which to do this.

We have been funded by various statutory and private bodies and individuals, and were granted Awards for All funding to showcase our services for the first New Forest Arts Festival in 2016, and have just been awarded a Children in Need grant for a project for young children in Dorset starting early in 2017.

We act as a hub for self-employed therapists, as well as raising funds for projects and programmes.   We provide solid programme evaluations to add to the evidence base.     We are keen to grow in 2017, and hope that we can, by collaborating with other like-minded organisations, offer even more positive outcomes for our participants.

We are delighted to present hArt to other interested groups, and keen to expand our base of volunteers and look to increase our Trustee board over the coming year.

Please visit for further information

Email:      Reg. Charity no. 1158996