In the past decade there has been a rapid diversification of services provided for patients with chronic psychiatric illnesses. Although these services are thought to be beneficial for those who use them, there has been little in the way of objective evaluation. As new services begin to compete for the limited resources available, it has been recommended that they should demonstrate their effectiveness. This paper reports a small pilot study on the value of an arts based service known as START (Bridges & Brown, 1989) which won a BBC ‘It's My City’ competition in 1989. It has been a popular component of the rehabilitation services of the Department of Psychiatry, Manchester Royal Infirmary since its inception in 1986.
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