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Australas Psychiatry. 2015 Feb;23(1):49-53. doi: 10.1177/1039856214563852. Epub 2014 Dec 17.

Mural art therapy for young offenders hospitalised with a mental illness.

Author information

1
Art Therapist, Adolescent Unit, The Forensic Hospital, Justice Health, NSW Health, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
2
Forensic Psychiatrist, Adolescent Unit, The Forensic Hospital, Justice Health, NSW Health, Sydney, NSWConjoint Lecturer, School of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSWForensic Mental Health Service, ACT Health, Canberra, ACTVisiting Fellow, Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia johnkas@med.usyd.edu.au.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe a mural art therapy project completed within an adolescent unit of a secure forensic psychiatric hospital.

METHOD:

The planning, implementation and consecutive stages of the mural art therapy project are described. Pertinent themes are identified.

RESULTS:

A cohort of adolescent forensic inpatients was engaged in a group therapeutic process involving collaboration, design and the completion of an art mural. The participants generally approved of the project and identified themes of gaining a sense of achievement, empowerment, teamwork, involvement and ownership. The art mural transformed and improved the visual and spatial environment of the Adolescent unit courtyard.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mural art therapy was acceptable to young offenders hospitalised with mental illness, which has relevance for adolescent psychiatric units and youth detention centres.

KEYWORDS:

adolescent unit; art therapy; mental illness; mural; young offenders

PMID:
25519999
DOI:
10.1177/1039856214563852
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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