The arts are good for our physical and mental health! This is why the UK Parliament All Party Group on Arts, Health, and Wellbeing’s report, ‘Creative health: The arts for health and wellbeing’, launched last week, is such good news! The report, accessible through this link Creative Health, gathers the best evidence from the arts, arts in health and arts therapies to show that throughout our lives, engagement in the arts helps build resilience and supports our health.
Throughout the report, testimonies highlight that expertise really does not matter – most participants initially knew little or nothing about the art forms they took up. However, many deeply enjoyed their experience and found so many benefits. As well as the sheer joy of it, there were not only health benefits but also connections with new and real social networks. The arts are deeply relational and support a sense of belonging. In an era when loneliness has been identified as a growing detrimental factor in our lives, the arts provide a bridge back to our communities and ourselves. This is true whether they are used as a career, a hobby, as arts in health or within arts therapies.
Do read this report (to which Val and Lucien each contributed), get inspired, connect with arts for yourself or with groups near you and set some up if there are none yet!