Culture and Health

“We’re All in the Same Boat” – The Experience of People With Mental Health Conditions and Non-clinical Community Members in Integrated Arts-Based Groups

The study reports an analysis of the Amitim programme in Israel, whose mission is to promote the psychosocial rehabilitation of people with mental health problems in the community through groups that perform arts activities integrating participants with mental health problems and non-clinical community members. Participants emphasised the role of creation and expression through the arts in facilitating emotional expression, self-discovery, interpersonal communication and spiritual upliftment. Overall, respondents reported that participation in integrated arts groups had a positive impact on their personal recovery processes, providing a corrective experience of equality and strengthening social relationships and a sense of community. Participants also reported that they benefited from the final art event, which not only improved their sense of visibility, competence and aspirations for future development in the personal, interpersonal and artistic spheres, but also helped to combat personal and public stigma.