Many people find it challenging at first to try new activities and some may have a fear of failure, which prevents them trying new ideas. However, usually there will be someone to show their art work to others, proudly exclaiming, that this is their first piece of artwork since school. Seeing the professional looking painting, this then encourages newer patients to cross their boundaries, and come along to try our groups, and produce some wonderful paintings and creations of their own.
Jane Walker is a Senior Activities Co-ordinator working at Priory Hospital Glasgow. She has been in this role for 8 years.
As a self-taught artist and writer, Jane understands the challenges that some may face acknowledging that they may be good at making art. It allows Jane to pass on her knowledge to others in a non-threatening way, encouraging patients to explore new areas of activities and outings to expand their interests and help towards expanding boundaries and exploring activities which they would normally not have the confidence to reach towards.
Jane has a certificate in COSCA Counselling Skills which was achieved 5 years ago.
Jane initially trained through Lapidus Scotland (A writing and arts organisation) 22 years ago to produce therapeutic writing and art for people with mental & physical health / and low self-esteem challenges. Jane has been interested in self-help for about 22 years and has participated in many courses and seminars over the years. She has been running and facilitating seminars and groups for that time and presently running a weekly writing into art group out with Priory for Lapidus Scotland. This involves many different art mediums i.e. pastels, oil, clay and encaustic art (beeswax) and then writing after the art which has a therapeutic benefit for those taking part, even if that is just the time they spend in the group. Jane feels fortunate in gaining this experience and can present the Priory with the different approaches and mediums to group work which the patients appear to enjoy. Many of the sessions are Led, which is not so frightening for those who believe they can’t make art, however It also allows for self-expression within the group setting.
For the last 22 years Jane has been researching the benefits for mental and physical health of creative writing and the arts. The evidence lies with the patients, the participants who have benefited from these groups and who tell us the difference it has made in their lives, and continues to do so.
Many ex-patients from the Priory have described how they have gone on to attend college or further education because of their experience of the activities presented.