Howells, V., & Zelnik, T. (2009). Making art: a qualitative study of personal and group transformation in a community arts studio. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 32(3), 215-222.
This study found that making art helped participants build new identities and roles. In addition it found that through participating together in a meaningful activity, the individuals felt part of a new community (artistic community). This study indicates that many mental health programs focus on illness and symptom reduction and treatment but do not necessarily look at how these individuals can become meaningful members of their community. Regular programs also don’t always look for different avenues for these individuals to connect with others. Venues like an art studio for these individuals can really help bridge this gap and provide an alternative form of mental wellbeing and sense of community for this population.