Jul 19, 2017
A new report on the benefits of the arts in improving health and wellbeing was launched today at the House of Commons.
Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing sets out the significant progress made in the field of arts in health. It concludes that the arts can “help keep us well, aid our recovery and support longer lives better lived” and that they can “help save money in the health service and social care.”
The report is the result of a comprehensive two-year inquiry, led by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing with our support. It presents ten core recommendations including a call out for leaders in the arts, health and social care sectors to establish a national strategic centre for arts, health and wellbeing; a cross-governmental strategy to support the delivery of health and wellbeing through the arts and culture; and naming designated individuals to be responsible for arts, health and wellbeing within NHS organisations, local authorities and health and wellbeing boards.
The piece is the result of evidence gathered through roundtables, discussions with service users, health and social care professionals, artists, academics, policy-makers and more; and features original drawings by acclaimed artist David Shrigley.
The conclusions in the report were also supported by evidence from projects developed in Lambeth and Southwark including the successful Alchemy Project which helped young people with psychosis through dance.
“The time has come to recognise the powerful contribution the arts can make to our health and wellbeing. We have been privileged to hear moving personal testimonies from individuals who have experienced remarkable improvements in their own health and wellbeing from engagement with the arts.”
Rt Hon. Lord Howarth of Newport Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing
He also called for “an informed and open-minded willingness to accept that the arts can make a significant contribution to addressing a number of the pressing issues faced by our health and social care systems.”
The inquiry report is the result of a multi-partner collaboration including ourselves, King’s College London, National Alliance for Arts Health & Wellbeing, The Royal Society for Public Health and Arts Council England. The inquiry was funded by the Wellcome Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Arts & Humanities Research Council.
The full report and a shorter version of it are available to download from the All-Party Parliamentary Group’s website.