Last year NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde marked two hundred years since the first asylum was opened in Glasgow with an events programme organised to raise awareness of the variety of approaches and activities used to support those with mental ill health.
Many of the approaches and activities from 200 years ago are still used today including gardening, music and art.
The flagship of the events programme is the commissioning of two pieces of sculpture which reflect the experiences and stories of those using mental health services in the West of Scotland and the psychiatric services and site of Gartnavel Royal Hospital.
Today those sculptures were installed at Gartnavel Royal Hospital by the international artist Jephson Robb and unveiled by patients, service users and staff from the hospital.
The sculptures will serve as a legacy to the past 200 years and point forward to 21st mental health care and the role which the arts has to play in supporting and promoting the recovery of those living with mental ill health.
Fiona Sinclair, who organises volunteering to support patient participation in activity said: “2014 was a remarkable year of achievement, celebration and reflection for those involved in mental health and wellbeing.
“It was a year which drew together individuals from all walks of life to help challenge stigma and raise awareness of mental illness.
“Today is a culmination of all the events that took place in 2014. These two sculptures draw their inspiration from the hospital motto ‘Let there be Light Again’ and reflect the experiences and journeys, past and present of those using mental health services. We hope they will offer a focus to what the future can bring.”
Colin McCormack, Head of Mental Health Services said: “We are delighted that Jephson Robb agreed to be part of our celebrations and while history is important, it is not only about the history - it is about the now.
“Art and the arts are there to remind us to continue to innovate.”
Jephson Robb, who has created public art for areas in which art is neither normally expected nor accessible to the public, said: “The love and care which goes into helping those with mental ill health and which often goes unrecognised.
"The siting of these sculptures within the grounds of a psychiatric hospital is key to countering the stigma still associated with mental illness".
Notes to Editors
One sculpture is called Sun-Moon and makes reference to the motto of Gartnavel Royal Hospital, RELUCEAT - Let there Be Light Again.
The second sculpture is called Two Hearts.
Both pieces together make reference to the 200 years. They both stand 2.5 metres high, with one sited in front of Gartnavel Royal Hospital Hub Building and the other sited in front of Tate House.
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]nhs.uk