Partnership With Royal And Derngate Brings Dance And Drama To St Andrew’s Patients

A scheme to get mental health patients involved in dance and drama activities has recently launched at St Andrew’s Healthcare in Northampton.

Practitioners from the prestigious Royal and Derngate theatre are delivering a pilot project with the Arts@StAndrew’s team, offering a series of eight dance and drama workshops for inpatients over the coming weeks. The fun and practical sessions will allow attendees from the Women’s Mental Health and Children and Adolescent Mental Health pathways – women and young people with complex and challenging mental health needs – the opportunity to learn theatre and dance skills in a relaxed and supportive environment.

The thirty patients involved will be working closely with professional dance and drama practitioners on a variety of activities, which aim to improve self-confidence, imagination and wellbeing in a fun and creative way.

Tina Heeley, Arts Manager at St Andrew’s, explained: “It is really exciting to be able to introduce our patients to dance and drama with professional practitioners from the Royal and Derngate Theatre. We were hearing more and more that dance and drama was something the patients wanted, and I am delighted we are now able to offer this to build on creating a wider arts provision here at the charity. Dance and drama bring many benefits to people suffering from mental health, and there is more evidence coming to the forefront demonstrating that dance and drama can contribute to increasing a person sense of well-being and help with their road to recovery. These activities are a great source for building self-confidence, enabling creative expression and improved physiological fitness.  I hope to see this strengthen the argument on how the arts are crucially linked to wellbeing which is indivisible.”

St Andrew’s is a charity providing specialist mental healthcare for patients with some of the most complex, challenging mental health needs in the UK. We develop innovative ways to help patients recover, creating a package of care designed around each individual, focusing on physical and spiritual wellbeing as well as mental health.

For more information regarding participation and Creative Learning opportunities on offer at Royal & Derngate, please visit

About Author /

Matthew has been writing for the past 5 years about music, sports and movies and has now finally got his chance to write about theatre. Having previously worked for the likes of Kerrang and Uncut, as well as previously having a radio show for 6 Towns, he has interviewed hundreds of bands throughout his career.

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