When she was 18 years old, Lorna Collins was a high-flying success story. But her life broke into pieces when she fell off a horse and had a severe traumatic brain injury. After spending some time in a coma, she awoke severely disabled and with total amnesia.
This led her to develop a number of psychiatric illnesses and she spent nearly 20 years detained in various psychiatric hospitals across England and France.
She was said to have many disorders – anorexia, psychosis, schizoaffective disorder, various personality disorders, depression, schizophrenia – and one medic said she should be detained in hospital for life.
Her life changed forever when she began to paint. Art gave her a voice and gradually helped guide her recovery.
Lorna went on to complete a PhD at Cambridge University with a thesis that focused on proving how art could help people make sense of their lives and initiate healing.
Now, Lorna works as an advocate and campaigner in the field of ‘arts in health’, including roles with the Oxford Health NHS team and MIND, spreading the healing and reviving powers of art.
In her emotional and educational talks, she shows individuals and organisations how creative practises such as painting, drawing, dancing and speaking can be liberating and calm people’s minds during their busy lives.
Lorna, who is also a painter and poet, focuses on helping others access their creative side in a way that improves wellbeing, focus and productivity, and how to reduce the stigma around mental illness.
I have had the pleasure of hearing Lorna speaking publicly several times: she is an excellent communicator, who can engage her audience both at the intellectual and emotional level. Truly inspirational speaker."