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Public Health. 2013 Aug;127(8):735-44. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2013.05.004. Epub 2013 Jul 22.

Viewing and engaging in an art therapy exhibit by people living with mental illness: implications for empathy and social change.

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1
Centre on Behavioural Health, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. jspotash@hku.hk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine how healthcare professionals, family members and community members responded to an art exhibit created by people living with mental illness.

STUDY DESIGN:

Phenomenological study with qualitative analysis.

METHODS:

Forty-six participants with various relationships with people living with mental illness attended an art therapy exhibit and art making workshop. Surveys, response art, reflective writing and discussion groups were used in this qualitative research study.

RESULTS:

Responses were categorized into four cluster themes: empathic, self-oriented, other-oriented and world-oriented.

CONCLUSIONS:

Each response category has strengths and weaknesses, indicating implications for increasing awareness and understanding of the artists and mental illness. They also inform educational interventions that can be utilized when using art exhibits for the purpose of confronting bias and stigma towards people living with mental illness.

KEYWORDS:

Art exhibits; Art therapy; Community education; Empathy; Social change

PMID:
23886343
DOI:
10.1016/j.puhe.2013.05.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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