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Local artist creates colourful mural at a Chelmsford mental health ward

A local artist has worked with staff and patients to create a colourful mural at an inpatient mental health ward.

Bethan Couthino lives in Chelmsford and volunteers at the Art Place in the city, where she runs groups for people with mental health conditions.

She created the mural for the art room in Galleywood Ward at the Linden Centre, Chelmsford, to help create a therapeutic environment.

Activities coordinator, Kendall Blaine, who has worked on the ward for almost a year, said: “I had been wanting to see something colourful on the ward since I started working at Galleywood and spoke to my friend Bethan about making something creative.

“We discussed ideas and we came up with the idea for the mural together. We wanted something colourful, but also relaxing and therapeutic, with the impression of the outdoors being brought indoors.

“It has benefited everyone who uses the room. The whole ambience feels more therapeutic and has a good balance of both being visually stimulating, while also having quite a calming effect.

“The feedback has been amazing from both the staff and patients and it seems to have made a notable difference in engagement levels, as well as being a nice place to sit and have a chat with somebody who is in distress, or wanting some quiet away from the ward environment.”

The painting took three days to complete and was enjoyed by patients the following week at a tea party celebration in the activity room.

Bethan, who also works in catering when not volunteering, said: “When Kendall came to me and talked about wanting to do a mural I thought ‘let’s do this’. I have suffered with my own mental health and thought how wonderful it would be to make a positive difference.

“It was really important for us to create something that would mean something to the patients and we encouraged them to share ideas on what they would like to be included in the artwork.

“They really liked getting involved and when we were painting there was a lovely community feeling to it. We had a lot of requests, which was great.”


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