Updated: Jul 24
Medical professionals around the world are now prescribing art as a form of treatment to reduce anxiety, depression and boredom.
“Art helps us access and express parts of ourselves that are often unavailable to other forms of human interaction. It flies below the radar, delivering nourishment for our soul and returning with stories from the unconscious. A world without art is an inhuman world. Making and consuming art lifts our spirits and keeps us sane. Art, like science and religion, helps us make meaning from our lives, and to make meaning is to make us feel better.” - Grayson Perry, Artist
Arts Council England, has shown that GP consultation rates drop by 37% and hospital admissions decrease by 27% when people actively engage in art.
There are a lot of evidence-based research recommendations that support art-based mental wellbeing programs. The most extensive we have found is from the Culture Health and Wellbeing (UK) which presented compelling findings highlighting where art has helped individuals of all ages and socioeconomic status to strengthen or regain control of emotional wellness. Some of the findings that stand out from recent studies include:
Medical professionals are prescribing art, in various forms, as a means of illness prevention.
Arts Council England has shown that GP consultation rates drop by 37% and hospital admissions decrease by 27% when people actively engage in art.
The act of creating art itself has proven to be beneficial to health & productivity. Art classes are being introduced in medical schools, such as Penn State College of Medicine in the US.
Art classes aid and develop creative thinking skills, in turn developing happiness and productivity, ultimately relieving strain on the national healthcare system.
In 2006, the Department of Health Working Group on Arts and Health discovered that factors beyond wellbeing, such as length of stay in hospital and pain tolerance, were significantly reduced by the presence of landscape paintings in hospitals.
If you would like to learn more, we recommend you take a look at the 2017 Arts Health and Wellbeing report where you can read in more detail, findings from two years’ of in-depth research. For more on the work being done by the organisation please visit: Culture Health & Wellbeing UK