More and more research is being conducted to show how the arts have a positive effect on peoples mental and physical health. Medical professionals are noticing and taking action.
“Over the last ten years, research has demonstrated the importance of creative practice in the arts and humanities. They can help maintain health, provide ways of breaking down social barriers and expressing and understanding experiences and emotions, and assist in developing trust, identities, shared understanding and more compassionate communities. So, hopefully, this sidelining of the arts in health terms is changing.” — Paul Crawford from theconversation.com.
To read a summary of the research findings about the positive impacts of the arts check out this article: https://theconversation.com/the-arts-are-a-shadow-health-service-heres-why-105610
Based on research findings, British health secretary, Matt Hancock, proposed a bold new initiative that would allow and encourage doctors to prescribe the arts to their patients as part of their treatment.
The medical benefits of engaging with the arts are well-recorded: As Lay notes, a collaboration between the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and stroke survivors living in Hull, England, encouraged patients to play instruments, conduct and perform; 90 percent of these participants reported improvements in their physical and mental health. In Lambeth, dance lessons have been shown to improve concentration and communication skills amongst those displaying early signs of psychosis, and in Gloucestershire, hospitals have begun to refer individuals with lung conditions to singing sessions.