AN arts group supporting people with mental illness has just been awarded charitable status.
Artists in Mind (Aim) was founded by John Holt, of Hepworth, a former art lecturer who helps people in emotional crisis by encouraging their creativity.
He taught at Bretton Hall College and Leeds University. He has also worked at Rampton Secure Hospital, Nottinghamshire.
Mr Holt's philosophy is that creativity is tantamount to an immune system for the mind.
Aim enables artists with mental health problems to continue painting and drawing while receiving treatment.
Patients in the acute wing at St Luke's Hospital, Crosland Moor, are benefiting from Aim.
The charity also supports artists when they leave an institution, as well as combating the wider stigma surrounding psychological illness.
Work produced by the patient-artists will eventually be sold.
The charity will act as an agency for selling drawings and paintings, with most of the proceeds going to the artists.
An exhibition of pieces is being planned for Huddersfield's Lawrence Batley Theatre.
"We are really using art to help people transform their relationship with the world in very gentle and subtle ways," said Mr Holt.
Aim is now looking for studio space in which to settle artists who have suffered mental health problems.