Use of Art for Mental Wellness

Joshua K. M. Nan

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperpeer-review


    Purposes: This proposed project endeavors to transfer knowledge and techniques of art therapy (Use of Art, UoA) for helping professionals serving individuals with mental health issues, for the enhancement of psychosocial rehabilitation.

    Methods: The project provides UoA training to 28 trainees (e.g. social workers, psychiatric nurse, occupational therapist) of the Mental Health Association of Hong Kong (MHA) for facilitating the use of visual art to enhance professional work efficacies and foster wellbeing of their service users. This multifaceted project included different aspects - training, application/supervision, research, and art exhibitions. The training was divided into two phases, with art experiential for the social workers for the enhancement of professional work efficacies in the first phase and application of UoA in mental health work under supervision in the second phase.

    Results: The results of quantitative data analysis show that in phase one, art therapy has effectively produced significant change in reducing burnout, raising compassion satisfaction (p<.001), and alleviating secondary traumatic stress (p<.05) for social workers. In the second phase, quantitative data analysis was applied to evaluate social worker self-perceived professional efficacies and competence in use of art, measured at three time-points: baseline (T0), immediate after completion of training (T1), and completion of application (T2). Preliminary results show significant change at T1 with therapeutic techniques, supportive purpose, treatment/planning/evaluation (all p<.001) in social worker self-perceived professional efficacies and the three subscales (p<.05) of competence of use of art (ABI).
    Over 60 service users of the MHA have participated in the art exhibitions, showing their artworks produced during the group sessions led by the trainees of the project. The artworks have been earlier exhibited in the Exhibition Gallery of the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University and H6 CONET, Central. The primary purpose was to promote use of art as a way to enrich life and foster social inclusion.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2019
    EventThe Mental Health Association of Hong Kong 65th Anniversary Symposium, MHAHK 2019: Restoring Shattered Minds - Hong Kong Science Park, Hong Kong
    Duration: 10 Dec 201911 Dec 2019


    SymposiumThe Mental Health Association of Hong Kong 65th Anniversary Symposium, MHAHK 2019
    Country/TerritoryHong Kong
    Internet address


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