About Artsenta

What is Artsenta?

Artsenta is a shared art studio for people accessing support for their mental health or addiction. We provide materials and equipment for a range of creative activites.

Artsenta was founded on the belief that creativity and artistic expression is an essential part of every person's health and well-being, and that those experiencing mental health challenges should be given the opportunity to realise their creative potential.

Who is Artsenta for and does it cost?

If you are interested in being creative, are 17 years old or over, and are seeing someone for a mental health or addiction issue, you are eligible to access Artsenta. There is no charge to come to Artsenta.

Do I need a referral?

No. There is no formal referral process or form. You can just give us a call or come for a visit. You may find out about us from a health service but you can also self-refer. If you self-refer you will still need to be seeing a health professional for your mental health and wellbeing (e.g. mental health team, health service or GP).

How do I get started?

Most people begin by making a time to visit Artsenta. This is a chance to find out what we do and how we work with people. We will show you the range of activities provided and discuss what you might be interested in doing. It's best to make a time or if you want to pop in, come between 9am and 11am.

Because Artsenta is a shared community space we have a set of guidelines that help us all maintain a safe and creative atmosphere. Please click here to read guidelines.

Our Creative Sessions are a great way to get started and try something out. See our timetable here. We cater for people who like to work in all sorts of ways and there is plenty of space and time to do your own thing. Once you've had a look around staff will help you develop an Art Plan that will help guide your creative work at Artsenta.

Can I bring a support person?

Yes. This can be really helpful when people are coming for the first time or if you need support while you are attending Artsenta. People with high needs may need to have a support person to attend Artsenta. Please let us know who your support person is and we will provide a guide to being a support person at Artsenta.

How does Artsenta protect my privacy?

Once you join Artsenta we will make an Art Plan which includes some personal information. This information is held in the strictest confidence. Your privacy and your rights under the Health Privacy Code is important to us. Our Privacy Statement outlines what information we collect and why, how we store your information and your privacy rights.

Who do I talk to if I have a concern or complaint?

Artsenta welcomes feedback and supports our artists to have a strong voice within our space. We encourage attending artists to raise any concerns with staff and they will support you to be heard. We also have an Artist Voice group that meets every month as well as a complaints process. All this and more is outlined on our Tell Us What You Think brochure.

Who runs Artsenta?

Artsenta is a service of the Creative Arts Trust, a non profit organisation and registered charity. A board of trustees provides administrative and governance support to staff. The work of the Trust is primarily funded by the Southern District Health Board with further funding from the Ministry of Social Development and other local organisations.

How long has Artsenta been going?

In October 2015 the Creative Arts Trust launched the book ‘Artsenta the first 30 years’. Written by author and board member Kath Beattie, the book charts the development of Artsenta, firstly as a ground breaking Creative Expression Unit within Cherry Farm Mental Hospital, and then as an innovative not-for-profit organisation in the community. This is essential reading for anyone interested in mental health and creative expression in New Zealand. The book is available from Artsenta for a koha or contact your local library.
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