Patients display their award winning work
Art Exhibition, The Bethlem Gallery, Royal Bethlem Hospital, Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3BX; October 6 to November 4; Opening times: Wed, Thurs, Friday, 11am-6pm; Gallery and Museum open Saturday 8 October, 11am – 6pm
J ust opened at the Bethlem Gallery – in the grounds of the world's oldest psychiatric hospital – Unescorted showcases creative mediums being used to complement traditional psychiatric treatments.
Unescorted glimpses the lives and unique perspectives of patients at medium-secure psychiatric units from South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.
More than 20 patients' work is on display– many of them fresh from their success at this year's Koestler Arts Awards, where 12 patients from Bethlem Royal Hospital have won awards.
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Much of the artwork produced by patients follows significant work by the hospital's art technicians and occupational therapists who help identify and nurture a patient's hidden creative talents.
Dr Tim McInerny, consultant psychiatrist for forensic services at South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), said: "Art is an important part of the therapeutic process of recovery for patients at our medium secure units.
"Music, writing, drama, and particularly art are all forms by which patients have a chance to share their story with others and in doing so move that bit closer to a safe and successful life in the community.
"The music concerts and art exhibitions that take place are perhaps a high point in a treatment that is otherwise complex and challenging."
Beth Elliott, Bethlem Gallery Coordinator said: "The freedom of expression that creativity allows, offers a poignant counterpoint to the restrictions of detention."
On October 10 it will be World Mental Health Day, a yearly event celebrated around the world. The day was created by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to raise public awareness of mental health issues.