A doctors’ surgery in Hove has turned to crowdfunding to try to raise just over £100,000 for a life-changing treatment programme.
The Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre (BHWC), in Western Road, Hove, has already raised more than £60,000 towards its target.
The money is for the surgery’s Healing Expressive and Recovery Arts Project (HERA) which has helped mental health patients, cut prescription rates and saved NHS funds.
The project has been awarded some money but, with a match-funding requirement, the surgery is trying to raise £101,500.
And time is running out, with a deadline of Sunday 3 July to hit the target.
Laura Marshall-Andrews, the principal GP (general practitioner) at the surgery, said: “So many of the mental health problems we see in primary care are linked to isolation and lack of engagement and community.
“We hope to provide effective treatments which get to the heart of these issues rather than medicating them.”
The practice of prescribing art therapies has proved clinically beneficial and cost-effective, according to Dr Marshall-Andrews.
She said that 81 per cent of HERA’s singing group reported making new friends and 71.5 per cent group improved their breathing.
Some 90 per cent of participants in the book group engaged in additional cultural activities, with 100 per cent reporting increased wellbeing.
And dance has been shown to reduce falls with the elderly. The project has won support from the Arts Council – and Dr Marshall-Andrews wants to scale it up.
She added: “I have been overwhelmed by the level of support and enthusiasm.
“The HERA programme has changed many lives and adds humanity, creativity and community to health provision.
“It is possible to live well with debilitating disease – and projects like this help patients to see and experience that.”
For more information, or to donate, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/hera.