Vibrant photos of the south Wales landscape are boosting the wellbeing of our hospital patients and staff as Cwm Taf Morgannwg marks World Mental Health Day on Saturday.
The eye-catching images were taken by arts in health champion Julia Hannon, a senior cardio physiologist at Prince Charles Hospital, after encouragement from Cwm Taf Morgannwg arts and health coordinator Esyllt George to share her creativity. Since moving to the area and joining our health board two years ago, Julia has benefitted physically and mentally from walking every day, and her new-found love of photography reflects her time spent outdoors and in nature.
A series of 12 framed photos, taken in south Wales and in Devon, is on display in the endoscopy reception at Prince Charles Hospital, while a further six are framed and ready to go up in Royal Glamorgan Hospital. Julia also hopes to create a display of photos at Princess of Wales Hospital in the coming months.
Julia said: “I’ve had a few health setbacks over the past few years and I’ve used walking, the outdoors and photography as part of my own personal campaign to improve my mental and physical wellbeing, which allows me to be distracted and focus my attention outwards, not inwards.
“Since having my two Cavaschons, Elsie and Flossie, I like to go on mini adventures in the woods, along a beach or roaming through fields. As I carry my I phone everywhere, I have taken and collected hundreds of photos of my walks. It’s been wonderful to be encouraged out of my comfort zone by Esyllt and I’m really pleased with the displays, which patients and staff alike will hopefully enjoy.”
Julia took on her role as an arts in health champion for the cardiopulmonary department as part of Cwm Taf Morgannwg’s Creative Arts, Health and Wellbeing Strategy, which aims to boost the mental health of patients, carers, staff, family, communities and our partners through the arts in their many forms.
With the arts found to make a significant difference to the healing process, ease memory loss and reduce pain, other initiatives include a collaboration with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum, as well as online art workshops, music and drama events for staff, COVID-19 restrictions depending.