Visual arts, mental health and wellbeing: evidence review

What Works Wellbeing, January 2018

This systematic review looks at the subjective wellbeing outcomes of engaging with (taking part in, performing, viewing) visual arts for ‘working-age’ adults (15-64 years) with diagnosed mental health conditions? It also examines the evidence on which processes have an impact on subjective wellbeing. It identifies evidence that shows that engaging in the visual arts for adults with mental health conditions can:

  • reduce reported levels of depression and anxiety
  • increase self-respect, self-worth and self-esteem
  • encourage and stimulate re-engagement with the wider, everyday social world
  • support in participants a potential re-negotiation of identity through practice-based forms of making or doing.

Click here to view the paper.

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Creative Health: The Arts for Health an Wellbeing

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing, July 2017

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing have held an inquiry into existing engagement of the arts in health and social care, with a view to making recommendations to improve policy and practice.

This report presents the findings of two years of research, evidence-gathering and discussions with patients, health and social care professionals, artists and arts administrators, academics, people in local government, ministers, other policy-makers and parliamentarians from both Houses of Parliament.

Click here to read the full report.

Click here to read the short report.

 

Arts for health and wellbeing: an evaluation framework

Public Health England, February 2016

The arts, including music, dance, theatre, visual arts and writing, are increasingly recognised as having the potential to support health and wellbeing. However, in order for arts to be included in commissioning of health and social care services, there needs to be robust evidence of their effectiveness, impacts and costs.

This document suggests a standard framework for reporting of project activities that will strengthen understanding of what works in specific contexts and enable realistic assessment and appropriate comparisons to be made between programmes.

Click here for further information and to download the report.