Making it Together? The Politics and Practice of Art and Mental Health Partnerships Conference

The Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR), Parental Mental Health Team (PMHT) and South London Gallery (SLG)  invite you to the Making it Together Conference.

Date : 3rd December

Time : 9.30 – 5.00 pm

Location : RHB cinema, Goldsmiths University of London, SE14 6NW.

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This conference takes as its starting point the publication of Making it Together, a report on Creative Families, co-written by CUCR and the Centre for Parent and Child Support (SLaM). Creative Families was an innovative multi-agency partnership between arts education arm of a contemporary art gallery (SLG) and the South London and Maudsley’s (SLaM) Parental Mental Health Team; it consisted of sixty art sessions for parents of under fives experiencing mental health problems.


The Making it Together Conference provides an opportunity to reflect on the current moment in which  arts organisations are aligning themselves with the health sector in ways that present both challenges and opportunities. There is, at present, recognition that social arts engagement not only improves ‘patient management’ and clinical outcomes but also makes a valuable contribution to the education and training of health practitioners. The development of social prescribing and patient choice over how to spend personal health budgets means that traditional health service provision is changing. What are the implications of these developments for access to the arts generally, and spaces of arts participation in particular? How do the arts and health sectors assess and demonstrate value across these programmes? What does success look like? Where do questions of ethics, aesthetic and authorship get addressed in these collaborations? Is there such a thing as ‘good practice’? What might be gained or lost in establishing this? We hope the conference will encourage a much needed vibrant exchange between art galleries and spaces of performance and creativity; health and social care professionals; and service users and communities.

We invite those currently working at the interface between the arts, mental health and social care including: mental health and social care practitioners, gallery arts education practitioners, funders, theorists, researchers and artists to come together to identify ways delivering of arts/mental health with energy and creativity in order to develop a shared sense of purpose.

The morning session will focus on question of ‘value’, partnership and evaluation. The afternoon session will focus on practice and the role of the artist, concluding with practical next steps and networking session.

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Confirmed speakers and panelists thus far include: Lawrence Bradby (Artist), Lucy Brazener (PMHT), Sarah Coffils (SLG), Davina Drummond (Artist), Liz Ellis (Heritage Lottery Foundation), Heather Kay (SLG), Daniel Lehan (Artist), Chris McCree (PMHT), Alison Rooke (CUCR, Goldsmiths), Helen Shearn (SLaM), Imogen Slater (CUCR, Goldsmiths), Emily Druiff (Peckham Platform).

Places for the conference are limited so please book quickly if you are interested. Lunch cannot be provided however drinks and refreshments will be made available throughout the day.

To reserve a place go to the South London Gallery Website booking page

To contact us, email Harriet on


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