ADF uses creative arts to support members’ recovery
2 November 2015
The Australian Defence Force has commenced a second series of innovative arts workshops aimed at supporting the rehabilitation and recovery of Defence personnel facing service-related health and wellbeing issues.
The four-week program, called the Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Teamwork and Skills (ARRTS), provides participants with an uplifting experience designed to assist their movement, speech and attention span and to build their self-confidence.
The program, to be delivered in partnership with the University of Canberra, was launched earlier this year with 18 participants signing up to the trial program. This time some 30 members from the Army, Navy and Air Force are taking part in a series of workshops, being mentored by ADF professional artists, actors and the University’s creative staff.
The head of the ARRTS program, Brigadier Wayne Goodman, said the workshops were designed to complement and enhance the participants’ recovery.
“Participants of the ARRTS program have various injuries ranging from post?traumatic stress disorder to physical wounds and they will benefit from improvements in health, increased self-esteem and motivation,” BRIG Goodman said.
“Through the medium of the arts participants will gain a sense of purpose by learning new skills and achieve something different by being part of an activity that focuses on abilities rather than inabilities.
“The program also assists in reducing the stigma associated with mental health conditions and may encourage others with similar symptoms to seek professional assistance.”
University of Canberra Faculty of Arts and Design general manager Ian Drayton said:“The University of Canberra is delighted to be able to share its resources and collaborate once again with Defence to deliver a high-quality support program for returned service personnel”.
The ARRTS program will include training and practical experience in drama, music, creative writing and visual arts and follows the success of the ADF Theatre Project/Sydney Theatre Company collaboration, The Long Way Home which toured nationally in 2014.
Squadron Leader Jaimie Abbott 0403 176 298
Defence Media (02) 6127 1999