The Zambia Therapeutic Art 6 week practice-based course, provides a cost effective training for mental health professionals at all levels: Skills learned can be used immediately with patients/ clients.
The course achieves its aims – improving communication between staff and patients – aiding relationships, diagnosis and self-advocacy, and staff-to-patient attitudes (including reducing stigma). It is run by registered Scottish Art Therapists in Zambia Therapeutic Art and developed over the last 6 years - bottom up - from a pilot programme in Chipata. It is now delivered to 60+ staff and students per year within Chainama Hospital and College, and Psychiatry department, UTH, Lusaka. This innovative intervention - addresses a gap in mental health provision in Zambia and fits the WHO framework recommendations to increase the range and availability of psychosocial and therapeutic options for those with MH problems. It has the support of the Ministry of Health and leads of government based mental health resources in Zambia. Following a scoping assessment in 2016, Zambia Therapeutic Art is now progressing with plans to fund a feasibility study to explore the viability of a Training of Trainers programme in 2017 as part of its progression to in-country sustainability. A research paper, using data from evaluations of trainees’ experience of the training and outcomes, is in process.