Patients can be referred by contacting:

London: h.tee@nhs.net         Bedford: Kirsty.Weeks1@nhs.net      Bath: Charlotte.Procter@nhs.net

Who can refer?

Any clinician working in East London NHS Foundation Trust, or Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust.

East London NHS Foundation Trust:

We can accept referrals from patients within the London boroughs of City and Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham and from Bedford services. Patients from Luton can be referred but must be willing and able to travel to Bedford for the group therapy.

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust:

We can accept referrals from patients within the Bath and North East Somerset region.

What's involved for participants?

Patients are screened and if they meet the inclusion criteria, we will take informed consent and ask them to select their preferred type ofgroup arts therapy: music therapy, art therapy or dance movement therapy. Patients will meet with a researcher again one month before the study begins, to confirm their eligibility and complete some questionnaires, for which they will receive £20. Participants will then be randomly allocated into either their preferred arts therapy group or to group counselling.

Group sessions will last for 90 minutes, twice per week, for 20 weeks. There will also be an individual introductory and end review meeting with the therapist. Once the group sessions have ended, participants will be invited to attend 3 further meetings with a researcher to complete questionnaires (post intervention, 6-month and 12-month follow up) for which they will receive £20 on attendance of each. There is also an optional interview with a researcher to discuss their group therapy experience.

What are the inclusion and exclusion criteria?

Inclusion Criteria
• Outpatient in secondary mental health care
• Motivation to attend group arts therapy or group counselling for 5 months
• Expression of preference for one of three forms of arts therapy
• 18 years of age and above
• Primary diagnosis of ICD-10: F2, F3 or F4
• Duration of current mental disorder of 6 months or longer
• At least moderate symptom level on BSI (this is assessed by the researcher when taking informed consent)
• Capacity to provide informed consent

Exclusion Criteria

• Primary diagnosis of organic mental disorder (F0), substance misuse (F1) or personality disorder (F6)
• Duration of current mental disorder <6 months (i.e. patients with short-term crises)
• Physical condition that prevents attendance of group arts therapies
• Insufficient command of English for communication with other group members and therapists