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Staying Connected

Emily Santos, Creative Arts Wellbeing Co-ordinator at Peace Hospice Care, writes about the impact of creative arts support through these difficult times.

“In these uncertain times it has been invaluable to stay connected, in any way we can, with the individuals we usually support through our weekly in-person groups. In the early part of the year, as a result of the pandemic and with patients’ health and safety as our top priority, we were sadly forced to suspend these groups. However, we were able to adapt and offer support virtually. One way we did this was in collaboration with The Hospice of St Francis, through our ArtSi email series.

The 20-Week ArtSi email series was designed as a way to stay engaged, offer support and stay connected in a new and creative way. Weekly emails offered a channel for individuals to stay present and mindful, relieve stress, play, momentarily forget distressing factors and find relief from overwhelming emotions. Participants reported back that they looked forward to each Monday when the new activity or prompt was sent out – often providing some light on darker days and a way to find pleasure and healing through enjoyment, creation and communication.

Research shows that engaging in a creative process has many therapeutic benefits and can be impactful in changing one’s state of being. This includes increasing serotonin in the participants brain, the chemical that helps to alleviate the feeling of depression.

 

We have now created an exhibition in the Lounge at the Hospice, displaying all of the artwork created during the series. We hope that this colourful collection of images successfully captures the vibrancy, emotion and energy of all of the individuals involved.