Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Art on prescription on Front Row

Last Thursday's episode of Front Row on BBC Radio 4 included a feature about Art on prescription. 'Earlier this month Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that "arts on prescription" is an indispensable tool in tackling loneliness, mental health and other long-term conditions. 


The programme features Wellcome Research Fellow Daisy Fancourt, Gavin Clayton, head of the Arts and Minds charity and GP Dr Simon Opher, and they discuss arts and healthcare.

It is based on the thought that changing people's environment can have a positive effect on mental wellbeing. Although ideas like this have been around for some time now, it is believed that about 20% of GP's are now making use of "arts on prescription." Sometimes artists are based in the doctors surgery and the GPs refer the patient directly to the artist, and other times the patient is directed to an organisation such as Arts and Minds that are based in museums and run workshops for groups that involve making art inspired by the heritage artifacts.

Something worth noting is that the government seem to acknowledge the importance of the arts for health, but its status within the school curriculum and in libraries and museums are under threat.

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