Monthly Archives: February 2018

“Roots” Art Exhibition – October 2017 – January 2018 – Reflections and outcomes by Angie Martin

downloadThe purpose of this exhibition was to share my art work and inspire others to try art as a means of helping them through difficult times by finding ways to express their emotions and be in the “here and now”.

People have expressly stated how inspired they have been by the art and staff at IMH have stopped and thanked me stating that the light and life the artwork has brought into the building has been inspiring. Many people have stated that they have felt emotional connections to the artworks.

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Contributions to others and the community

I provided a talk with a group of MA students of Trauma and used the displayed artwork as a talking point for growth and resilience through trauma.

I followed up with an individual student interview to assist with dissertation studies.

I held live discussion with BBC Radio Nottingham (Alan Clifford show).

Developed links with the Nottingham Peace Project and planned provision of and gained council funding to lead “expression through art” workshops for young people in Basford (2018).

Roots Exhibition Book – my story of Trauma, Resilience and Growth with accompanying paintings.

Charitable financial benefits

Sales of paintings have raised £500 to provide a Remembrance Bench for Joel Cooke and £400 for Young Minds Trust. A total of £900 in sales was realised between the 10th October 2017 and 5th of January 2018.

New friendships and new opportunities

I have had a number of people ask me to show them how I paint different styles and I am starting small workshops in January 2018.

I am contributing to Prof Stephen Regel’s Stories and Narratives Project (2018).

I am working with Su Ansell (De Montfort University) on producing a short film about resilience, change and growth (2018).

Personal Growth, empowerment, health and wellbeing

The exhibition has encouraged me to get out and about, meet new people, socialise and converse. Exposure to the environment, particularly travelling on buses was my goal for my trauma treatment. I now have no fear of travelling on buses or passing through Nottingham. My confidence and communication skills are much improved. When I began planning g the exhibition with Elvira I had to take my daughter with me as I struggled with conversation skills. That is no longer the case. I am sure Elvira has noted the differences since we first met. My family and friends often comment on the progress I have made in overcoming my fear of public places and people.

I intend to continue to raise funds for charity, raise awareness of how we can rebuild our resilience and growth through art expression. I will continue to inspire others by sharing my story and art.

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. I hope the IMH has many successful exhibitions in the future.

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Angie is a qualified teacher with a degree in Psychology and a Masters in Inclusive Education. She worked in New Zealand as an Inclusion Adviser to the Ministry of Education for 7 yrs. She was studying for a second Masters when she developed serious health difficulties resulting from trauma.  Angie was no longer able to follow her academic career. She retired in 2016 and returned to England (her roots). She now has a different and better life as an artist with a love of mother nature.  “There is always hope and It is never too late to try and experience something new in your life”

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Crime in the Mind

On Friday 17th November 2017, Professor Birgit Völlm hosted a forensic psychiatry research seminar “Interventions for Sex Offenders post-SOTP” at the Institute of Mental Health. The seminar was organised by the charity Crime in Mind and chaired by Professor Pamela Taylor. Professor John Gunn introduced the aims and objectives of Crime in Mind outlining the need for investment in research in forensic psychiatry. Crime in Mind aims to fundraise and commission relevant studies and put the scientific study of mentally disordered offenders on to a much firmer financial and political base. For further information see http://www.crimeinmind.org.

Speakers included a range of experts talking about a range of interventions fo sex offenders. Professor Conor Duggan reflected on the evidence base for the treatment for sex offenders referring to a recent report on the prison based Core Sex Offender Treatment Programme (SOTP) which failed to provide evidence of therapeutic effect and showed that in some outcomes treated sex offenders fair worse than untreated controls. Professor Duggan called for further analysis to be done on identifying who is likely or not to benefit from treatment. Fiona Williams and Rosie Travers from evaluation team of the SOTP outlined the design factors of the replacement approaches, notably the Horizon (for medium risk offenders) and Kaizen (for high risk, high need, high priority offenders) programmes.

Professor Belinda Winder and Dr Kerensa Hocken from HMP Whatton outlined the UK Prevention Project. The project, similar to the German Dunkelfeld project, provides a signposting, support and treatment service for individuals who are distressed about unhealthy sexual thoughts and feelings, and are concerned that they will sexually offend but are outside of the Criminal Justice System.

Professor Birgit Völlm described the development of Circles of Support and Accountability. Here the sex offender, known as the core member, is supported by a group of volunteers from the local community and helped to reintegrate into society. Professor Völlm presented findings on the characteristics of core members in England and Wales and a review of the evidence base.

Dr Jackie Craissati described her work in London on the Challenge Project which supports sex offenders with personality disorder. She found that alcohol use was more problematic than drug use in people who failed (i.e. were charged, convicted or recalled) and that housing difficulties are often a trigger point.

Professor Don Grubin outlined the use of pharmacological approaches to sexual offending such as the use of anti-androgens and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs have fewer side effects than anti-androgens which require close monitoring. Professor Grubin argued that medication is not a substitute for psychological treatment but can produce improvements which help an offender participate in other treatment programmes.

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You can find out more about crime in the mind here: http://www.crimeinmind.org/

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