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Sante Ment Que. 2015 Summer;40(2):287-302.

["Les Impatients": expression through art].

[Article in French]

Author information

Cour du Québec; Impatients.


The organization called "Les Impatients" was founded in 1992. Using a unique model, Les Impatients welcomes those with mental health issues who would like to express themselves through art. Les Impatients offers free creative workshops and encourages exchanges with the community through the sharing of its participants' creations. The name Les Impatients reinforces the idea that the organization does not consider those attending its workshops as patients, but rather creators who are eager to heal, develop their craft and find their place in society. The participants contribute to the collective objective of breaking down the stigma that surrounds mental illness.Les Impatients collaborates with various mental health organizations in Quebec, such as the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal (IUSMM) affiliated to the Université de Montréal, Douglas Mental Health University Institute (DMHUI), the Centre de santé et services sociaux Drummond (CSSS Drummond) and the Centre de santé et services sociaux Pierre-Boucher (CSSS Pierre-Boucher). Les Impatients offers more than 48 workshops in eight different locations to around 450 participants each week.Dissemination activities, remarkable events, original projects: Les Impatients stands out through its realizations. Examples are exhibitions, collections of love letters, comic books, CD, concerts, and reading nights. The organization's originality resides in the exploration of the links between the work of the participants and that of professional artists. An illustration of this interest is the annual Parle-moi d'amour auction-exhibition, which has been one of Les Impatients' major events since 1999.As part of its mission, Les Impatients conserves the works of art created by the participants during the workshops. Its collection includes more than 15,000 works of art from Les Impatients as well as pieces donated by collectors of unconventional art, commonly known as "art brut" or "outsider art". The Collection is characterized by its scientific and artistic potential as well as its connection with the art brut/outsider art movement. That makes it an exciting endeavour for the world of art and social sciences.Les Impatients workshops are appreciated by the participants because they improve self-esteem, stimulate creativity and curiosity, break isolation, contribute to develop a sense of belonging and reduce both the frequency and the length of hospitalization. For these reasons and many more, many participants have reported the positive impacts of their involvement in the arts on their recovery. The innovative activities can also be seen as enhancing the patients' recovery process.Pioneers in the field of recovery, Les Impatients is a forum where the participants, their loved ones, the team, the artists and the community can meet and exchange. Those encounters constitute great opportunities to break the stigma that surrounds mental illness, one of Les Impatients' core objectives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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