How we can help you

What to expect at your
first art workshop

We feel it is important that people can start attending without delay or formalities.  You can join any time throughout the year and you don’t even have to book a place in advance.

When you come in you will first meet the Art Tutor who will explain the art project to you and will show you what to do.  You will enjoy learning new skills and being creative in a small group of 6-8 people who understand what you are going through.  The atmosphere is very relaxing, sociable, and people are very easy to talk to but you can also just focus on your artwork.

It doesn’t matter whether you have experience, are talented or haven’t done any art since school.  Our experienced Art Tutors will support you to develop your skills using a huge range of media including drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printing and collage through bite-size projects.

At your first art workshop you will also meet your personal Coach with whom you can explore non-medical aspects that affect your mental health and wellbeing.  Your coach will then provide you with information that will help you take control and better self-manage your condition.

Generally, people stay about 2-3 months in this first group before moving on either to another activity or therapy in the community, or to Arty-Folks’ next group which is more advanced creatively and where you will begin working with your coach and mentor in a more focused way moving forward.

Arty-Folks reaches out to adults of working age 18+ in Coventry and Warwickshire who feel at a low point in life and who are struggling with mental ill health.

The people we support are suffering with a wide range of conditions including

  • diagnosed or self-diagnosed mental ill health and conditions such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, OCD
  • long-term and complex mental health conditions such as psychosis, PTSD, schizophrenia, eating and other personality disturbances
  • who will not contact mental health services fearing prejudice and the stigma that comes with a diagnosis
  • who are assessed as below the threshold for interventions by statutory services but who are unable to function without support
  • employees on sick leave and at risk of escalating mental stress into more complex and enduring conditions
  • discharged from mental health hospitals and are looking to rebuild their lives

Please note that we are not able to support people in acute crisis, or with ongoing cognitive learning difficulties including Dementia, Alzheimer Disease, or complex Autism, as well as people with an unmanaged alcohol or drug dependence.

How to start

Where, When, and How

 Everything you need to know to start attending our weekly art group.

The Fine Art to Wellbeing

Try our free 3 week short course we run with the Coventry Recovery and Wellbeing Academy.  It will give you a good introduction to how  being creative can de-stress your mind.

Step by Step you will be moving forward

We know from experience that it takes substantial time from a mental breakdown to gaining what you will feel to be a more authentic sense of self.  At Arty-Folks we can help you discover your strengths, personal qualities, aspirations and ambitions that will enable you to overcome past hurts and difficulties and to adjust to change.

We have designed a program of progressive art groups that will help you regain firm ground under your feet, and will help you build resilience to withstand life’s challenges.  As you move from group to group the art projects combined with 1:1 mentoring will help you increase your sense of self-worth and self-drive.

1:1 Coaching and Mentoring
Arty-Folks serves as a facilitator and catalyst of change and with a bit of help you might just achieve what you never thought possible!

You are in control of your personal journey and we will help you step by step to discover what makes you tick. At our art workshops you will work with your personal mentor through anything that stands in your way of recovery such as finances, housing, weekly routine, writing a CV, volunteering, employment, etc.  and how we can help you build on your skills, interests and passions.  All information remains confidential.

“I don’t think that people can really appreciate how good it is to be able to talk about mental health to people who know what you are going through.”

Peer Companionship
You are not on your own.  At our art workshops you will find the companionship of people who have walked a similar path and this shared understanding is liberating and reassuring at the same time.  You will also meet your Peer Volunteers who are making strides through Arty-Folks and who offer hope by sharing their experience and journey.

At Arty-Folks we are all in the same boat.  Staff, peers, and volunteers, we all help each other through the ups and downs of life’s challenges.

Community Participation
We human beings are social creatures and connecting to others is a hugely important part of maintaining well-being. Coventry and Warwickshire are full of opportunities to get involved with social, creative and cultural events and through doing so make connections with other people.

We will help you establish a healthy weekly routine with meaningful activities including volunteering.   We also support you to try out new opportunities through our social programme, such as Tai Chi, yoga, meditation, exercise, art classes, knitting, etc.

When you feel ready we will help you look for employment or start education. We help you to write a CV or apply to College or University and we will continue to coach you through the barriers and obstacles that you might face once you leave.

Recovery is a journey as much as a destination and it is not the same as cure. 

We know that people can develop new meaning and purpose in their life so that symptoms and problems recede into the background.   Arty-Folks holds an unwavering optimistic outlook on mental health recovery and we are confident that, while experiences can’t be undone, people can achieve a personally acceptable quality of life.

People who successfully complete our programme generally feel more self-aware and resilient to meet life’s challenges.  When people move on they know that our door is always open when things become tougher again and some come back for a little ‘top up’ or a ‘check in’ with our mentors.