Open Arts

Open Arts is a community arts and health programme, which helps manage and maintain mental health and wellbeing through creativity.

Open Arts is back in 3D! Meeting in real life, face to face 'Courses and events' at last!

We are keeping our virtual spaces too. 

During the Covid 19 ‘lock-in’, we’ve kept the dream alive by creating a lively, interactive, online space through social media platforms and the good old telephone.

Open Arts studio members continue to keep in touch with each other, sharing their artwork and supporting one another, from their own homes.

A selection of work our members have created and shared can be seen here

Part 2

* ‘lock in’ sounds more fun than ‘lockdown’

Please like/follow our Facebook/Instagram/Twitter accounts @OpenArtsEssex to keep in touch and watch our Open Arts Promotion film

Thank you

Open Arts is a community arts and mental health service run as one of the charities managed within the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. The service has the aim of promoting positive well being and social inclusion for people with mental health difficulties and to carers who would like to engage with the wider community through the creative arts within a group setting. The courses offer an opportunity to learn new creative skills and techniques within a safe and supportive 
environment. No experience is necessary.


What We Do

Courses are open to anyone with a mental health problem and also to carers. Courses 
are facilitated by a professional lead artist with support from volunteer art assistants, 
and held in community locations rather than clinical settings to promote social inclusion. 
A representative from the local college information, guidance and advice service attends 
in the final weeks of the course, to signpost on to further educational and vocational
opportunities, facilitating a smooth transition to maintain social inclusion. At the end of 
the 12 week course, a six month studio placement is offered for independent art making 
within the same supportive studio environment. The studio time is used to continue to 
develop and improve what participants learned on their 12 week course through 
development of their arts practice with the support of studio managers and their peers 
around them.
Participants are also encouraged to visit a gallery with the group and take part in a 
workshop within the gallery space. If they take up the studio placement they have the 
opportunity to work towards exhibiting in local art trails and open day events. 


Contact Us

If you would like to talk about how you might get involved with Open Arts, we'd love to hear from you. 
If you prefer, any health or social care worker, friend or family member can refer you. Just ask them to contact us.

Art House, 19 High St, Hadleigh, Benfleet, Essex, SS7 2PA, UK

Open Arts is managed under EPUT Charity Fund.

Registered Charity number 1053793

07580 982462

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How We Help

Our courses include taster sessions in visual arts, such as drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, creative writing and crafts. We also offer drama, digital arts and photography courses that help develop new skills and confidence. But most importantly, we offer a positive and productive environment that has been part of many people's recovery.


Who is it for?

All our participants are aged 16 or older, who have either experienced mental health problems or are a carer.


Volunteering with Open Arts

 We are always delighted to have new people join us as volunteers. Our volunteers are highly valued as key members of the team. Please contact us to talk about what you could do, and find out how to apply.

Emmas collage 2.jpg

“I felt I was treated as an artist, not a person with mental health problems”