What do we mean by Arts and Health?
Arts are a social determinant of health – see here for a visual depiction of what this means. There is increasing evidence to show that arts, creativity, and culture can play a crucial role in improving the health and wellbeing of the population. Whilst the arts are a notoriously difficult concept to define, art in relation to health research can be divided into five broad categories:
- Performing arts: activities in the genre of music, dance, theatre, singing and film
- Visual arts, design and craft: crafts, design, painting, photography, sculpture and textiles
- Literature: writing, reading and attending literary festivals
- Culture: going to museums, galleries, art exhibitions, concerts, the theatre, community events, cultural festivals and fairs
- Online, digital and electronic arts: animations, filmmaking and computer graphics
What is the Arts and Health SIG?
The Faculty of Public Health Arts and Health SIG is a forum for public health professionals to consider and support the use of the arts to improve health and wellbeing. Our vision is to improve health and wellbeing through arts (music, painting, drama, reading etc). We will do this by:
- Promoting the use of arts to improve health and wellbeing though member organisations, working with partners, attending conferences etc
- Identifying and developing further research into the effectiveness of arts on wellbeing
- Identify best practice and disseminate information on the practical application of art interventions
- Advocate for arts as a social determinant of health and its use to mitigate health inequalities
- Advocate for the arts to be viewed and understood not only as a possible intervention but essential for a healthy life
- Support work to reduce inequalities in access to the arts
- Support a 'health in all policies' approach to embedding the arts and creativity in policy
- Support the use of the arts for workforce wellbeing and training development
Current work/upcoming projects 22/23
- Following the COVID-19 pandemic we are recruiting interested members to the group and developing a work programme to deliver our vision. Some themes currently being considered are:
- Art and health pathways for the development of cultural and ethnic inclusion and;
- Arts within public health training.
- Presence at events
- Re-establish links with partners to develop collaborative work and develop new partnerships with appropriate organisations
- Evidence summary for policy: The role of arts in improving health and wellbeing - September 2020
- Evidence Summary for Policy: The role of arts in improving health & wellbeing - A Report to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport April 2020
- Planet Munch Healthy Lifestyle Programme - tackling childhood obesity through creative education | NICE
- Royal Society of Public Health Report RSPH | Arts and health
- WHO Scoping Review What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being? A scoping review (who.int)
- All Party Parliamentary Group’s Creative Health Report All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (culturehealthandwellbeing.org.uk)
- WHO Collaborating Centre for Arts and Health WHO Collaborating Centre for Arts & Health (artshealthcc.org)
- National Centre for Creative Health National Centre for Creative Health (ncch.org.uk)
- ACE - Lets Create Let's Create | Arts Council England
Arts and Health Events
- Tuesday 13th December 2022, 2-5pm An Introduction to Arts and Public Health Continuing Professional Development (CPD) - the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health School of Health Sciences
Chair: Heema Shukla - Heema.Shukla@bracknell-forest.gov.uk - 01344 355365
Vice chair: Paula Hawley-Evans - Paula.Hawley-Evans@lancashire.gov.uk - 01603223571
This committee reports to the Faculty's Health Improvement Committee.
Members with an interest in the use of the arts to improve all aspects of wellbeing are welcome to express their interest in joining by completing this application form and forward to the chair. Meetings will be held quarterly.