Arts-based psychiatric rehabilitation programs in the community: Perceptions of healthcare professionals.

Objective: Despite the increase in arts-based programs in community rehabilitation services in many countries, little is known about how these programs are perceived by health professionals who can refer individuals with mental health conditions to community-based psychiatric rehabilitation services. This study examined how senior professionals with key positions in the public health system perceive the integration of the arts in community-based psychiatric rehabilitation services in Israel. Method: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 professionals. Results: The thematic analysis revealed 2 main themes. The first reflected “the perceived position of arts-based programs among other rehabilitation services,” and had 2 subthemes: arts as a legitimate supplemental service, and arts as a motivating rehabilitation. The second theme reflected “the unique contribution of the arts to recovery processes,” and had 3 subthemes: art-making facilitates self-expression and communication and bypasses resistance, art-making facilitates socialization, and art-making shapes and enhances personal identity. Conclusions and Implications for Practice. Because most of the professionals were exposed to the creative arts in their workplace, they valued their contribution to the rehabilitation process. Thus, direct contact can provide more information, more accurate perceptions, and a better understanding of the benefits of arts-based services, which may in turn encourage service managers and policymakers to include these services. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)