A YEAR-LONG project is using drawing as a way to support people facing mental health challenges.

The project is run by Heads On, the official charity of Sussex Partnership NHS Trust.

The aim is to hold a series of public drawing events across the county to increase access to the arts for people who may be struggling.

Over the next 12 months they will be bringing together artists and the public to explore mental health through drawing.

One in four people each year will experience mental health problems.

There is a growing body of evidence which shows participation in the arts can make a positive contribution to health and wellbeing.

The project is part of Make Your Mark, Sussex Partnership’s arts and health programme.

It is supported by artists Annis Joslin, Jane Fordham and Jane Fox who have been commissioned to deliver the scheme alongside three people who have experienced mental health problems.

Sussex Partnership arts and health lead Joanna Stevens said: “Year of Drawing is our most ambitious project yet and has huge potential to break down some of the barriers people with mental health challenges face when participating in the arts.

“Barriers such as lack of money, confidence and anxiety can stand in the way of people benefiting fully from the arts and most importantly experiencing a connection with creativity and participation alongside others.

“This can enable people to face their mental health challenges with greater courage and hope for the future.”

The scheme has been funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and grants from Chalk Cliff Trust, John Horniman’s Children’s Trust and Rockinghorse.