Room Service gets arty

The rejuvenated cARTwheels program at St John of God Murdoch Hospital. 

22 Jun 2022

Murdoch is proud to be bringing patients a new re-vamped art trolley, packed chock-full of creative delights. Art Therapy joins the allied health team at St John of God Murdoch Hospital

After the very successful and popular art packs program, cARTwheels has been therapist Iris Whitlock

This current program is a 12-week scoping project to trial a number of different art therapy modalities and assess the benefits to patients at Murdoch, with a view to incorporate art therapy as an integrated component of the multidisciplinary allied health offering.

The program is being run by Art Therapy Consultant Iris Whitelock. 

This expansion of the art trolley is just one way in which Murdoch commits to arts in health, and acknowledges the impact that creative expression can have on health and wellbeing.

“I am very confident it [Art Therapy] will have a good, positive impact on our patients. We have had a fantastic response to our Music Therapy program, so I look forward to seeing the Allied Health team continue to grow and have a positive impact on person-centred care here at Murdoch Hospital.” said St John of God Murdoch Hospital CEO Ben Edwards.

In addition to arts activities that patients can do on their own, Murdoch is now offering art therapy sessions that can assist patients to explore a range of personal matters, offering new perspectives.

Art therapy in the hospital setting provides patients a chance to shift thinking away from pain or discomfort, and a new way to alleviate anxiety and boredom.

In clinical settings, art therapy has been shown to have a positive effect on a patient’s physical and psychological wellbeing, reduce drug consumption, shorten hospital stays, improve job satisfaction of caregivers, improve mental health and develop health practitioners’ empathy across gender and cultural diversity.

The brilliant thing about art therapy is that patients don't need to be an artist and the exercises are simple, easy and fun.