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Beautiful Distress was founded on the concept that there is a great deal of mental suffering, that not enough people are aware of this and that not enough is done to stop it.

The Foundation uses art in an attempt to open up the world of psychiatry and battle the stigma attached to it.

Why art? Beautiful Distress believes that art is pre-eminently capable of articulating and depicting the human condition

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Bethlem Museum of the Mind on shortlist for museum of year award

Maarten Van Overeem

One of the newest and most unusual museums in the UK, Museum of the Mind, which opened only last year at Bethlem, one of the oldest mental hospitals in the world, has made the shortlist for the 2016 Museum of the Year award.

 The statues Melancholy and Raving Madness by Caius Gabriel Cibber at the entrance to the Bethlem Museum of the Mind. Photograph: PR Image

 The statues Melancholy and Raving Madness by Caius Gabriel Cibber at the entrance to the Bethlem Museum of the Mind. Photograph: PR Image

The small museum in the handsomely converted former administrative building within the hospital grounds in Bromley, greater London, showcases both the unique historic collection, contemporary art installations and work by patients. It will be pitted against the giant V&A in London, which has won its place for its beautiful new European galleries and other projects, and the Arnolfini, a beacon for contemporary art on the Bristol harbourside since 1961, which has recently formed a creative partnership with the arts department of the University of the West of England.