Patients at the Staffordshire Children’s Hospital at Royal Stoke can now access art therapy thanks to kind-hearted charity supporters.
University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) has been able to appoint an art therapist to work with the children’s hospital’s younger patients thanks to a grant from UHNM Charity.
Art Therapist Kevin Benson uses watercolour painting as a way of helping patients better communicate and address emotional issues which may confusing or distressing to them.
Kevin said: “Art therapy encourages children to better understand thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Using painting to express these can feel easier and less threatening than traditional talking therapies, especially in younger patients.”
Kevin sees around 20 patients a week ranging from day cases to those requiring longer treatments and works closely with other healthcare professionals including clinical staff and play specialists.
He added: “I use watercolour as a distraction. Whilst they paint we talk about any adjustments for fears that come from a result of illness or bereavement. Switching kids onto art and seeing the change in them and the increase in confidence is incredible. I believe all of us are creative, and I’ve never had a patient fail to create a wonderful artwork.”
Steve Rushon, UHNM Charity Manager said: “UHNM Charity understands the value of the arts in our hospitals and the positive impacts it can have on the wellbeing of patients, visitors and staff. We also support many wards and departments across UHNM to develop projects and to source funding for art.”
If you would like to fundraise for UHNM Charity visit www.uhnmcharity.org.uk for more information, or call 01782 676444 to speak to one of the UHNM Charity team.
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