Untapped (Uk) CIC are petitioning for Art Psychotherapy to be funded and provided to more Uk schools, colleges and universities, available to all children and young people (CYP) who need it. The current pandemic has seen the mental health of CYP reach crisis-point. CYP are now dealing with huge interruptions and challenges to their education and mental well-being alone. Isolation from peers, uncertainty about exams and bereavement potentially causes anxiety and depression, but what about the CYP who were vulnerable before Covid19 hit? Some of those already living in poverty, witnessing traumatic events and experiencing abuse, are now suffering with eating disorders, increased self-harm and suicidal thoughts. These CYP are often unable to get the help they need from a drastically underfunded CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – NHS), a service which has been ‘in crisis’ for years. Kids in Crisis, BBC Panorama 2018

Why is Art Therapy the answer?

Very often, CYP are unable to use words to explain how they feel – perhaps they don’t yet know why they are in pain. Using art materials to ‘do the talking’, is fundamental in facilitating the therapeutic process. Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy and involves art-making with the guidance and support of a professional art therapist. Art Therapy supports CYP to explore their inner world, develop greater self-awareness, express thoughts and feelings, access creativity and self-esteem, and better cope with stress. Art Psychotherapists are required to hold a Master’s Degree in Art Psychotherapy, be registered by HCPC (Health Care Professions Council), be DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checked, and are professionally supported by BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists). Art therapy is available online, and can help prevent long-term damage to CYP mental health, future outcomes and possible suicides. 

My name is Sue Hamilton-White, I’m the founder and Managing Director of Untapped (Uk) CIC, a CAMHS Art Therapist, ex-educator, ex youth-worker and parent to three young people.