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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