Priory Hospital showcase of service user's works of art

The UNLOCK art exhibition, which will be held at Together Our Space Gallery, 12 Old Street in London, will feature a range of mixed media artwork completed by patients and is now open to members of the public on weekdays until 22 December.

The exhibition, which is free admission, demonstrates the potential of art as a mode of therapy, allowing service user's to express their feelings and release their inner creativity.

Thornford Park, located on Crookham Hill in Thatcham, is a 123 bed low and medium secure hospital offering high quality, individualised care, treatment and rehabilitation for men a with a history of offending who are detained under the Mental Health Act (1983) and are difficult to place in NHS facilities. The hospital predominantly treats service users with personality disorders, mental illnesses and complex needs. 

Chadwick Lodge & Eaglestone View near Milton Keynes, is a 92 bed medium secure unit providing specialist treatment programmes for male and female service user's who have been detained under the Mental Health Act (1983) and have a history of offending behaviour. The hospital is renowned for its interventions for personality disordered patients and its forensic addictions treatment programmes. In addition, it offers tailored care to patients who present with a dual diagnosis of mental illness/personality disorder and mild learning disability.

Dawn Jeffries, Director of Clinical Services at Thornford Park said: "Art is a fantastic way for our service user's to express themselves and creatively release their inner feelings. This exhibition demonstrates one of the milestones we have achieved in promoting recovery through art among our patients. The exhibition is an excellent opportunity to showcase the great work Thornford Park and Chadwick Lodge and has provided a unique way for our service users to work together across two secure sites and provide an opportunity for members of the public to view some great art work."

Liz Felton, CEO at Together, said: "We are pleased to be able to offer Our Space to individuals in residential recovery at The Priory, to give them a forum within which to express themselves freely and to unlock their creative potential. People experiencing mental health problems who are in secure units and may have an offending history, are one of the most stigmatised, disenfranchised and unheard groups. Together wants to offer these individuals the chance to use art, which is a powerful recovery tool, as a medium to showcase their talents, so that they can be judged by their creativity rather than by their diagnoses."

"We have supported The Priory to review and implement best practise in service user involvement across some of its services and we are keen to explore further ways of working together so that we can increase independence, choice and control for individuals experiencing severe and enduring mental distress."