“Recovery from mental health distress is a very personal journey of discovery. It is about finding meaning in life again after significant challenges to a person’s sense of self and wellbeing. Those working with Inside Out know this so well. I have always been impressed with how Inside Out Community Arts project has contributed so much to the recovery process for very many people in and around Ipswich. Inside Out’s strength comes from those people who work within it. They embrace the philosophy of connecting with others as human beings, exploring people’s strengths and using all aspects of the arts to facilitate recovery. “
Dr David Williams
“We are happy to support a statement for the work of Inside Out. The Suffolk Wellbeing Service is a primary care based Mental Health Service and much of our work is to signpost people who refer into the service to appropriate community services.
Inside Out is a regularly used referral point for patients wanting to find integrated health/social care provision, which is flexible and sensitive to a person centred approach. The service does not appear rigid or unnecessarily complex for patients to access and engage. Often people experiencing anxiety or low mood are put off by too complex access arrangement but Inside Out is very inclusive. Inside Out attend our service to share their new programme of events and are active in ensuring information is cascaded to potential service users.”
Operational Manager – East
Suffolk Wellbeing Service
Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust
43 Handford Road
“As an art therapist working in local mental health services, I believe passionately in the potential that the arts can have in improving quality of life and in enabling people to (re)discover their potential.
I was for some years, a Trustee with Inside Out and continue to advocate for and support this charity. I believe they provide a vital community resource for people experiencing and recovering from psychological distress. In my relationships with patients on the acute inpatient ward, I inform, encourage and signpost patients towards Inside Out as part of their recovery. I know from individual testimony that Inside Out is experienced as a welcoming, supportive and inclusive community. People speak about their enjoyment, creative discoveries and increased confidence and self-belief from engaging with inside Out. I hear how vital it is to be able to go to a group which is not about mental health, but about creative expression, whilst being supportive and understanding of life’s difficulties and their impact on us.
In founding Inside Out Community in 2003, Jan and Pete had the knowledge, belief and foresight in the benefits engagement in the arts can bring. They understood the importance of ‘outward looking’ thinking from inpatient mental health provision, for people to engage on a path of meaningful recovery through involvement in arts opportunities, following a period of acute mental health problems. In addition, Inside Out is a local community resource which welcomes people at any period of difficulty in their lives, for whom creative engagement in the arts alongside others can bring relief, support and fulfillment.
There is good evidence that psychologically informed art based interventions can provide people with a sense of agency and hope. (Tenant, R. et al 2007 & Secker, J. et al 2009) and that creative engagement can promote recovery from mental ill health and this is highlighted in mental health policy (Margrove et al 2012).
It is a testimony to Inside Out’s commitment and belief in their core values that they have continued to provide accessible, thoughtful, stimulating and enjoyable arts opportunities for thirteen years. In a climate of ‘quick fixes’, it is vital that people are able to depend on the consistent availability of Inside Out as I know for many people, the relationships found and formed through Inside Out are sustaining and empowering.
Art Therapist 20th April 2016
From our perspective ( for many years as CSV, now as Ipswich Community Media) we have always held Inside Out in very high regard. The use of creativity to unlock and support personal development and offer support is evident. We have housed the organisation for many years, and seen the music, arts and community activity grow. The group work is particularly interesting, as it works to set a safe space to make art, whilst in this space, you can unlock conversations and experiences in a supportive and sharing environment and I have myself, learnt from this delivery.
I think Inside Out benefits from being flexible about the offer, introducing the older and younger creative sessions has really opened up the potential.
There is perhaps even more room for partnership working in my opinion, to develop routes to sharing work that become annual diary fixtures.We do always support the Not Beaten Yet band, to perform on the May Day stage, and we would like to find a way to support the creative sessions so that more of the great work that is created, can get shown.
Inside Out is well established and sits firmly in the town as one of the most important mental health and well being creative providers. We hope very much to work closer in 2016/17 especially once our venue /workshop space has been developed, as we can then grow the client base, by encouraging people from the diverse communities who are not accessing mental health support at all, to come and participate.
Outreach & Creative Coordinator / Director
Ipswich Community Media CIC
Ipswich IP1 3NU