A new inquiry report, Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing, was released in the UK this month by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPGAHW). The report presents the findings of two years of research, evidence-gathering and discussions into the benefit of the arts to health and wellbeing.
As part of the inquiry process, more than 300 people participated in round tables and meetings in the Houses of Parliament. The report includes hundreds of interviews and dozens of case studies. Key messages from the report are:
- The arts help keep people well, aid recovery and support longer lives better lived
- The arts help meet major challenges facing health and social care: ageing, long-term conditions, loneliness and mental health
- The arts help save money in the health service and social care
Lord Darzi, Professor of Surgery at Imperial College London believes this report lays out a compelling case for healthcare systems to better utilise the creative arts in supporting health and wellbeing outcomes, "building on a growing body of evidence in mental health, end-of-life care and in supporting those living with long-term conditions.”
The report also includes illustrations from David Shrigley and a contribution from Grayson Perry who wrote, “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.”