Paintings donated to Linden Centre by charity art group

October 3, 2019

Paintings created by an art group for people with experience of mental illness have gone on display in Chelmsford.

Eight canvases painted by members of the Rethink Mental Illness Braintree Arts and Social Group are helping to brighten up the Linden Centre, a mental health facility run by the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT).

Some of the creations, which include colourful fish and Japanese-inspired scenes, are on show inside the centre in Pudding Lane while others have been hung outside to decorate a small garden space.

Trina Whittaker started the group 11 years ago with the support of the Rethink Mental Illness charity after caring for a male family member with mental health needs.

Art became an important therapy for him and she set about creating the group to give people with mental health needs the chance to come together to write, paint and draw.

Trina and one of her volunteers, Alan Rutland, came up with the idea of displaying art at the Linden Centre after realising how talented many of the 30 plus members were.

She said: “Many members of the group have spent time in mental health facilities across Essex and wanted to give something back. They decided the paintings should be peaceful and calming.

“The group is like a big family. They help each other and want to do what they can to help other people experiencing difficulty. I’m proud of each and every one of them.”

Andy Brogan, Executive Chief Operating Officer at EPUT, said: “I would like to thank Re-think Mental Illness for their kind donation to the Linden Centre. It is clear to see that a lot of time, thought and effort has gone into creating artwork which can now be enjoyed by patients and visitors to the centre.

“Patients who come to us there are experiencing mental health difficulties, so it is particularly fitting that the canvases have been created by talented artists who have been able to channel their experience of mental ill health into producing beautiful art.”

A further two paintings created by the group are set to be delivered to the Linden Centre soon.

The Re-think Mental Illness Braintree Arts and Social Group meets at Braintree and Bocking Community Centre in Bocking End between 1pm and 4pm every Tuesday.