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Creative practice as mutual recovery in mental health

Crawford, Paul; Lewis, Lydia; Brown, Brian; Manning, Nick


Paul Crawford

Lydia Lewis

Brian Brown

Nick Manning


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the value of approaches to mental health based on
creative practice in the humanities and arts, and explore these in relation to the potential contribution to
mutual recovery.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper is a conceptual analysis and literature review.
Findings – Recovery can embrace carers and practitioners as well as sufferers from mental health
problems. Divisions tend to exist between those with mental health needs, informal carers and health, social
care and education personnel. Mutual recovery is therefore a very useful term because it instigates a more
fully social understanding of mental health recovery processes, encompassing diverse actors in the field of
mental health. Research demonstrates the importance of arts for “recovery orientated mental health
services”, how they provide ways of breaking down social barriers, of expressing and understanding
experiences and emotions, and of helping to rebuild identities and communities. Similarly, the humanities
can advance the recovery of health and well-being.
Originality/value – The notion of mutual recovery through creative practice is more than just a set of
creative activities which are believed to have benefit. The idea is also a heuristic that can be useful to
professionals and family members, as well as individuals with mental health problems themselves. Mutual
recovery is perhaps best seen as a relational construct, offering new opportunities to build egalitarian,
appreciative and substantively connected communities – resilient communities of mutual hope, compassion
and solidarity.
Keywords Mental health, Recovery, Mutuality, Health humanities, Arts, Humanities, Mental health services

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2013
Journal Mental Health Review Journal
Print ISSN 1361-9322
Electronic ISSN 1361-9322
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 2
APA6 Citation Crawford, P., Lewis, L., Brown, B., & Manning, N. (2013). Creative practice as mutual recovery in mental health. Mental Health Review Journal, 18(2), doi:10.1108/MHRJ-11-2012-0031
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf


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Copyright Statement
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