Wales moves on Arts and Health

Arts Council of Wales is proposing to support an arts and health co-ordinator to every Health Board in Wales along with resourcing a Welsh Arts and Health Network. The commitments comes as it published the results of a mapping exercise of culture and health projects from across the country along with a series of proposals to develop the field of arts, health and wellbeing.

‘Arts and Health in Wales - A Mapping study of current activity’ is a snapshot of some of the arts and health partnerships in place across the country. The report highlights work in several fields including the treatment and care of dementia and mental health; physical areas such as Parkinson's and falls prevention; and community therapies aimed at tackling anxiety and isolation, and work in aiding the recovery of stroke patients. The document will inform strategic discussions between the Welsh Government, the Arts Council of Wales and a range of other partners active in arts and health.

Vanessa Young, director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said: "As this study shows, there are already a lot of initiatives happening across Wales that promote the health benefits of art and creativity. The feedback is very positive – clinicians involved in an arts project for young teenagers with mental health difficulties are seeing a significant improvement in their wellbeing, and care workers are turning training in creativity into activities that make a real change in their patients’ lives. We are pleased to be working with the Arts Council of Wales to raise awareness of the health and wellbeing benefits of engaging in the arts and creative activity."

Phil George, Chair of Arts Council of Wales said: "As the report reveals, the impact of Arts and Health activity is already impressive. But the Arts Council of Wales wants to work with Welsh Government and partners in the health, arts and higher education sectors to make an even bigger difference to the health and wellbeing of the people of Wales. The proposals in the report are an important contribution to making this happen. Ideas like appointing Arts in Health coordinators in all Health Boards or strengthening the evidence base for the potential benefits of building on existing achievements - these ideas will move … arts and health up to a new level"