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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together
Published: 16/05/2023

Service users across Birmingham and Solihull celebrate mental health recovery through art

BEDLAM video
BEDLAM video

Service users and mental health professionals gathered at the Midlands Arts Centre to showcase their art as part of the BEDLAM Arts and Mental Health Festival. 

BEDLAM is a festival that aims to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing recovery through the arts. Now celebrating its 12th anniversary, the event saw a series of powerful visual art, film, live performances, spoken word, dance and music produced by local residents who have been referred to the project via mental health services.

Francesca Norouzi, BSMHFT's Head of Arts Psychotherapies outlined the psychological benefits of arts therapies can have, commenting:          

“Offering service users who struggle to talk about their story the opportunity to express their feelings, thoughts, and experiences through art, music and drama can be transformational. Events like today really highlight how important the arts are.”

Led by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) in partnership with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Midlands Arts Centre, Sampad South Asian Arts and Red Earth Collective, BEDLAM offers specially curated workshops that give individuals a safe space to creatively express their emotions. From painting to writing poetry, the year-long festival proved to be a huge success. One service user said:

“I really enjoy it because it gets me out the house, it makes me feel like I am worth something”.

Multiple guest speakers were in attendance on the day including BSMHFT’s Chief Executive Roísìn Fallon-Williams who opened the event.

A short film summarising the work that had taken place across the year made its debut to the many mental health professionals, service users and their loved ones in attendance.

For more information about BEDLAM please email bsmhft.communityengagement@nhs.net