Self-Harm is often performed in private and many individuals who self-harm may choose not to seek support, there could be a number of reasons for this, for example, the individual through acute distress may not be able to reach out for support, or perhaps because they feel they are able to self-care or maybe feel the services are not meeting their needs, therefore Self-Harm can be a challenge to clinically treat.
At Arts 2 Heal we aim to build a non-judgemental, creative, and engaged community where individuals do not have to express their feelings by self-harming. Rather than exploring feelings or explanations of self-harm, individuals explore feelings and thoughts towards their paintings, they reflect on their levels of satisfaction and their encounters with the techniques, processes, approaches, and styles. The actual engagement in the process of art creation is healing in itself; it is about effecting change and growth through artistic expression in a supportive and safe environment.
The projects focus on building emotional resilience, self-acceptance, responsibility, and control. To unburden: accept or let go of issues of which the participant has no control and to learn that self-harm is not the only way to cope.
The community based projects incorporate social inclusion, intending to particularly benefit individuals who as a symptom or as a result of self-harm have found themselves isolated, unable to relate, empathise, and/ or interact with their socio-economic surroundings.
Engagement in the art projects will provide opportunities for personal development and a way to make connections between individuals and also the wider community.