OCA & SANE: A new partnership

We are very pleased to announce that we are working in partnership with the leading mental health charity SANE to support mental health.
SANE was set up in 1986 to improve the quality of life for anyone affected by mental illness. Its three main aims are to raise awareness and combat stigma about mental illness; to promote and host research into the causes and more effective treatments for mental illness; and to provide guidance and emotional support for people with mental health problems, their families and carers through its helpline, SANEline, Textcare and other services. 
We are working together to deliver SANE’s new Creative Awards Scheme, a new initiative to enable people suffering from mental health or caring for people with mental health issues to access the visual arts and harness their creativity. 
The scheme will make grants to individuals to enable them to engage in creative and educational activities such as taking an evening course in photography, or creating a piece of art.
The scheme is open to anyone with a diagnosed mental health condition or anyone acting as a full-time carer to submit proposals for works of visual art.
The awards will range from £75 to £300 to cover or contribute to the cost of materials such as paints and frames, attending training courses, or supporting the provision of replacement care in the case of carers who apply.
To apply for the scheme, applicants will need to provide the following: 

  • A letter about themselves, the reason for applying and the potential benefits of an award;
  • An application form containing personal information; 
  • A reference from a mental health professional or in the case of a carer, a personal reference; Examples of previous work where applicable.

Recipients of the award will be selected by a panel of experienced artists, OCA tutors, and mental health professionals. 
Marjorie Wallace, Chief Executive of SANE, says: “Exploring the relationship between art, mental illness, creativity and human experience is central to our ethos.”
There is no doubt in my mind that people who are mentally fragile can find hitherto undiscovered reserves of skill, talent and other creative resources which they can usually only harness if given encouragement and financial support to develop.
Will Woods, Principal of the Open College of the Arts, says: “We are proud to collaborate with SANE on the launch of this new scheme. Mental health affects all of us, be it sufferer or carer, and is particularly topical for students in higher education. As a provider of high-quality creative courses we see the benefit accessing creativity can have, and we are confident that this scheme can have a real impact on people’s lives
About Sane creative awards scheme
SANE creative awards scheme flyer

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