Goddards Green mental health patient uses art for recovery

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A patient with borderline personality disorder has been nominated for a national achievement award – in recognition of her ‘commitment’ to recovery.

The patient, who asked the Middy to call her Faye, is in the secure mental health unit at The Dene in Goddards Green.

She has been nominated for the Outstanding Service User Involvement Award in the National Service User Awards 2015 for her dedication to artwork and sports programmes at the hospital.

Faye said: “I really enjoy art and photography as it is a positive form of distraction from what’s going on in my head. It’s a form of expression when I can’t verbalise how I am feeling.

“Winning major awards, like the Koestler Awards for the Arts, allow art and mental health to be recognised as one of the positive therapeutic interventions that take place at The Dene, encouraging others to get involved and submit work.”

Faye has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and has been in mental health services for four years. Prior to this she was studying for a degree at university.

Since she has been at The Dene Faye has worked to manage her mental health difficulties using art and work programmes as a therapeutic way to help her recovery.

Although she has lapses in her mental health, she uses the creative arts to help her manage her issues.

Jo Watters-Pawlowski, education coordinator, The Dene said: “This patient has demonstrated how effective her engagement in the arts and real work opportunities has been even when her mental health is not well.

“Her artistic achievements which have been recognised by professional artists indicate that, given the right opportunities and mentoring, she could progress in her chosen field.”

She added that the real work programme Faye was on shows she could also secure paid employment.

The winners will be announced at Silverstone in March.