Royal and Derngate's dance and drama pilot

A scheme to get mental health patients involved in dance and drama activities has launched at St Andrew’s Healthcare in Northampton.

Practitioners from the prestigious Royal and Derngate theatre will be delivering the pilot project with the Arts@StAndrew’s team, offering a series of eight dance and drama workshops for patients over the coming weeks. The fun and practical sessions will allow attendees from the Women’s Mental Health and Children and Adolescent Mental Health pathways the opportunity to learn theatre and dance skills in a relaxed and supportive environment.

The thirty patients involved will be working closely with professional dance and drama practitioners on a variety of activities, which aim to improve self-confidence, imagination and wellbeing in a fun and creative way.

Tina Heeley, Arts Manager at St Andrew’s, explained: “It is really exciting to be able to introduce our patients to dance and drama with professional practitioners from the Royal and Derngate Theatre. We were hearing more and more that dance and drama was something the patients wanted, and I am delighted we are now able to offer this to build on creating a wider arts provision here at the charity. Dance and drama bring many benefits to people suffering from mental health, and there is more evidence coming to the forefront demonstrating that dance and drama can contribute to increasing a person sense of well-being and help with their road to recovery. These activities are a great source for building self-confidence, enabling creative expression and improved physiological fitness.  I hope to see this strengthen the argument on how the arts are crucially linked to wellbeing which is indivisible.”

For more information regarding participation and Creative Learning opportunities on offer at Royal & Derngate, please visit their website or email Trudy Bell.