Arts for Health

An All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Well Being published an Inquiry Report in July 2017 entitled 

“Creative Health: The Arts For Health and Well Being”

This is a detailed and thorough report on how the arts are an integral to society and how they contribute to mental an d physical well being. They are not an “add on” luxury which we can only have once we have sorted out other problems. Indeed they are can be part of the solution to our may woes.

Here are some startling facts published in the report

Care Environments ( including hospitals, GP surgeries, hospices and care homes)

A mental health recovery centre co-designed by service users in Wales is estimated to have saved the NHS 300k per year

Participatory Arts Programmes

This refers to individual and group arts activities intended to improve and maintain health and well being in health and social care settings and community locations

After engaging with the arts – 79% of people in deprived areas in London ate more healthily, 77% engaged in more physical activity and 82% reported a greater sense of well being.

Participatory arts activities help to alleviate anxiety, depression, stress both within and outside of work. They also increase resilience and well being.

Music therapy reduces agitation  and need for medication for 67% of people with dementia.

Arts therapies help people recover from brain injury and diminish the physical and  emotional suffering of cancer patients and the side effects of their treatment

Arts on Prescription

Part of social prescribing, this involves people experiencing psychological or physical distress being referred or referring themselves to engage with arts in the community ( including galleries, museums and libraries)

An arts on prescription project has shown a 37% drop in GP consultation rates and a 27% reduction in hospital admissions. This represents a saving of £216.00 per patient.  A social return on investment of between £4 and £11 for every £1 invested in arts on prescription.

Everyday Creativity

This might be drawing, painting, pottery, sculpture, theatre, music or film making, singing or handicrafts

More than 49,000 amateur arts groups in England involving 9.4 million people. That’s 17% of the population

Attendance at Cultural Venues and Events

This refers to attendance at concert halls, galleries, heritage sites, libraries, museums and theatres.  

Cultural engagement reduces work related stress and leads to longer, happier lives

Of the 2,500 museums and galleries in the UK 600 have programmes targeting health and well being.

The Built and Natural Environments

Poor quality built environments have a damaging effect upon health and well being.

85% of people in England agree that the quality of the built environment influences they way they feel.

Every £1 spent on maintaining parks has been seen to generate £34.00 in community benefits.

So the message is get involved in the Arts! You know it makes sense and it will help you feel good too.

You can download the full report here.

Rosemary Hill

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