A MENTAL health support centre is opening its doors to showcase its clients’ artwork for the bank holiday weekend,

Preston Park Recovery Centre in Preston Park Avenue, Brighton, is run by not-for-profit organisation Southdown.

It is exhibiting paintings, sculptures and photographs as part of the Artists Open Houses Festival for the fourth year running.

Anna Mills, a client who visits the centre regularly and is exhibiting her work in this year’s event, said: “Art keeps me steady.

“It’s an important part of my own personal programme of recovery.

“A place like this is really really important.

“It’s a place where you don’t have to pretend to be anything other than who you are.”

Anna’s pieces include watercolour paintings and a large piece made from litter she picked up from the beach as part of the #2minutebeachclean movement.

She said: “A lot of the time when you’re unwell it can feel like you’re not doing anything, so creating something that wasn’t there before is very satisfying.

“It can be an achievement and lift your spirits.”

The centre offers activities such as anti-stress colouring, craft and mixed media groups as well as clay work and a general art group on a weekly basis.

Their art room is open every day.

Beth Shepherd, manager of the centre, said: “It is incredibly important to the artists involved.

“We often hear artists who are part of the exhibition describe creating the art work as a welcome break from the stresses of daily life.”

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to learn how art can support people leaving with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

This year’s event is bigger than ever before, with 125 pieces of art from 68 artists.

Recovery adviser Cathy Fuller said: “Being part of the Artists Open Houses provides a focus and celebration for the creativity at the centre.

“It is a real opportunity for our clients to feel part of the city during Brighton Festival.

“There’s a real feeling of pride that we’re opening our doors to the general public.”

Councillor Mo Marsh, the outgoing Mayor of Brighton and Hove visited the exhibition.

She said: “Art is an incredibly therapeutic medium.

“An event like this where people can visit the centre and see the art tackles the stigma that still sadly exists around mental health.”