An insight into TEDxCoventry Revive speaker Lorna Collins

Who is Lorna Collins?

Lorna Collins is an artist, writer, scholar, researcher and so much more.

Not only is she an active researcher in the field of Arts in Health, as a member of the steering group of the MARCH Network, but also an area representative in the Arts Health Early Career Research Network.

Lorna is training to be a Peer Support Worker. In this capacity, she currently works in an acute psychiatric ward, using her own experiences of mental illness and recovery to support patients.

Lorna works with the Oxford Health NHS team, as the ‘Champion Voice of Service Users’, helping to build a new care model for treatment of eating disorder patients, applied to hospitals across the South of England. 

She works tirelessly with ‘Time to Change’ and ‘Mind’, campaigning to change stigma and discrimination against mental illness. 

An author, she writes articles in a number of newspapers and journals about these very themes. 

She also has a PhD from Cambridge University, where she was a Foundation and AHRC scholar. 

An accomplished writer, Lorna has published several books, such as ‘Making Sense: Art Practice and Transformative Therapeutics’, and ‘The Butterfly’ (forthcoming). 

She has been interviewed about art and her recovery on BBC Radio Oxford and BBC 1, and writes regularly on these themes for The Independent and The Guardian.

However, besides being an artist, scholar and writer, Lorna is most of all…a survivor. After a severe traumatic brain injury which had Lorna spend nearly 20 years of her life mentally unwell, detained in various psychiatric hospitals where doctors gave her numerous conflicting diagnoses; art revived Lorna’s life and she now campaigns for a better understanding and treatment for mental health, always using art. 

Why TEDx and what will Lorna’s talk be about?

Through her TEDxCoventry talk, Lorna wants to communicate her vision and message to an engaged audience she will inspire to open the innate creativity that we all have, which is part of our very humanity. 

With heavy public speaking experience, Lorna’s loves to inspire, amuse and open new perspectives. Arts in Health is a subject Lorna is extremely passionate about as she embodies its value from her own experiences. 

Lots of people will say ‘I can’t paint, I’m not an artist’, but Lorna will show people how we can access art as a power to heal ourselves, our traumas, our wounds and our stress. 

Although Lorna has suffered for more than half of her life, she has also learned how to be well through art which has been crucial for her recovery. 

Lorna’s main aim is to revive the audience by reviving the basic human instinct of creating, enjoying and healing oneself. She wants to share her story and show other people how art can help them too. If you want to hear Lorna speak live about her experiences and how creativity revived her, you can get your ticket to her talk How Creativity Revived Me – Access your own revival at TEDxCoventry via the Belgrade. 

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