The World Health Organisation called for mental health to be treated as everyone’s responsibility. In many countries, mental illness is the leading cause of disability. People suffering from mental illness and especially those who live in mental health structures are in the forefront of socially disadvantaged groups, suffering more over from social stigmatization and marginalization. These people have also been suffering from societal injustices.

Although art’s healing effect on mental health is being acknowledged more and more, it is not an optional therapeutic approach for most of mental health structures in many European Countries. Moreover, even though, there is an obvious need of more contemporary approaches which will possibly reduce the use of medicines, most of the structures are being stuck to old protocols avoiding trying alternative methodological approaches and routines, as a result of ignorance or being afraid to try something new. The potential and benefits of combining therapeutic art with restorative justice are still not translated into educational material and programmes leaving many adult learners and professionals in the field unaware.

Mental Health Matters through Restorative Art (MHM) aims to respond to this gap by bringing together a cross-sector, strategic partnership to support innovation in the adult education field by creating, piloting and disseminating educational material and tools tailored to the needs and realities of mental health professionals, restorative justice practitioners and artists in the participating countries and across Europe.

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MHM aims to enhance the skills, knowledge and experience of mental health professionals using art and restorative justice values. MHM also aims to train artists to use art in order to facilitate the relief of mentally ill and their social restoration. The ultimate goal is to create innovative tools that enhance the healthcare provision and self representation of those who live within mental health structures. Thus, to create a methodological approach which puts together the benefits of the art therapy with the values of restorative justice. MHM will also design and accredit e-courses that will enhance the skills and knowledge of adult learners, supporting in this way the setting up of, and access to upskilling pathways.

The consortium includes 6 partner entities:

P1: Restorative Justice for All, UK

P2: Center for Social Innovation (CSI), Cyprus

P3: Kinonikes Sineteristikes Drastiriotites Efpathon Omadon, EDRA, Greece

P4: Lélekben Otthon Közhasznú Alapítvány (LOKA), Hungary

P5: Fundacion INTRAS, Spain

P6: Anotati Scholi KAlon Technon, ASFA, Greece

Project Duration: 24 months

Project Start: 01 November 2019

Project End: 31 October 2021

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication (communication) reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Project number: 2019-1-UK01-KA204-062004