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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Creative recovery



The Creative recovery project teaches visual art skills to Indigenous peoples with mental health problems with the aim of improving the social and emotional wellbeing of those involved. People participating in the program attend weekly workshops at an arts centre where they learn to express themselves and share their thoughts and feelings through the visual arts.

It is envisaged that by engaging people with mental health needs in a meaningful activity that involves creative expression, the following objectives can be achieved:

The project is being piloted in a Cape York community and the intention is to extend the project to other communities. Creative recovery is a collaborative project, involving input from numerous stakeholders including: Queensland Health; the Australasian Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health; Arts Queensland; Access Arts; the Royal Flying Doctor Service; Disability Services Queensland; and other local community service providers.

Abstract adapted from Australasian Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health


Australasian Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health
PO Box 2362
Cairns Qld 4870
Ph: 1300 515 951

Related publications

Dyer G, Hunter E (2009)

Creative Recovery: art for mental health's sake.

Australasian Psychiatry; 17(S1): S146 - S150

Leenders M, Dyer GM, Saunders V (2011)

Work in progress: Creative Recovery to creative livelihoods.

Australasian Psychiatry; 19(Supplement 1): S45-S48

Evaluated publications

Leenders M, Dyer G, Saunders V (2012)

From creative recovery to creative Livelihoods: “It's not just art... it's a healing thing”: the benefits of an arts based health initiative in remote Indigenous communities: evaluation report 2011.

Cairns, QLD: Australasian Centre for Rural & Remote Mental Health


Last updated: 2 September 2015
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