I am excited to say that I’m about to embark on a project looking at if/how graffiti writers and health and other service providers could work together to develop some kind of support system that better represents what people need.

For years now I’ve been putting in work behind the scenes – building relationships with people at Arts in Health (NHS), Cardiff Council and other organisations, and developing my thinking around graffiti in health. Matt Wakelham (Cardiff Council) has been a diamond on legitimising spots which provide much needed community focus and a place for people to express themselves freely. I know there are conversations happening within the Council about how to approach graffiti and street art in Cardiff and have my fingers tightly crossed that positivity will come from them.

Part of the Rekindle & Inspire project, was to gather information about the link between graffiti and neuro-divergency, mental health and addiction challenges. This new ‘Graffiti in Health’ project is a follow on to this research, and will be up and running in April. If you think that you have something to add to the conversation, or are just interested in finding out more please get in touch by email, Instagram, phone or whatsapp message….

Repetitive mark making is used in art therapy – something I haven’t got much knowledge on, but Claire Rye speaks about how graffiti fits into the therapy world in her interview with Wizard Occupational Therapy.


In comparison to 1% of the UK population with an autism diagnosis, 19% of the people we surveyed have an autism diagnosis. Out of the 37 people who answered a questionnaire whilst painting at a jam in Cardiff or Bristol, only 9 showed no traits of either autism or ADHD.

Painting graffiti has a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing, and most people who took part in the research suffer from negative mental health, improved by painting – only one of the respondents had never experienced hearing voices/mood swings/anxiety and/or panic attacks. More than half of respondents self-medicate with alcohol or other substances, and 14 of these people see negative effects on finances, family/friends/loved ones and/or work.

Look at the research results here.


The ‘Graffiti in Health’ project, is led by Cathays & Central Youth & Community Project with research partner Dr Jaspal Singh, and health partner Cardiff and Vale UHB Health Charity. Kindly funded by Arts Council Wales, the aim of the ‘Graffiti in Health’ project is to educate health and other professionals about graffiti culture, with a view to working together in the future. The social support network created by graffiti and wider HipHop culture are not valued as highly as they could be, and this project aims to begin changing that.

Please get in touch if you would like to be part of that change.