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Arts in Health and Wellbeing: An action plan for Wales
This Action Plan describes collaborative action between the Welsh Assembly Government and Arts Council of Wales to benefit and enhance the health and wellbeing of the population of Wales through arts and creativity.

This Action Plan describes collaborative action between the Welsh Assembly Government and Arts Council of Wales to benefit and enhance the health and wellbeing of the population of Wales through arts and creativity. The Plan is intended as the basis for future development of arts and health initiatives in Wales.

Taken from the Foreward:

We are pleased to introduce this Arts in Health and Wellbeing Action Plan for Wales. It has long been recognised that there is a connection between the arts and health, and that people gain benefits from being in a conducive environment enhanced by good design and art, as well as from active engagement in creative pursuits. These benefits relate mainly to emotional health and wellbeing: for example through the power of music, literature and the visual arts to provide deep relaxation and emotional release, or the opportunities provided by the arts for self expression and enjoyable social contact.

The Plan is intended to increase understanding of the role of the arts in health and wellbeing, and support the development of arts and health initiatives through information and guidance. It describes action in five main areas:

The Arts and Public Health and Wellbeing
The Arts in Healthcare Settings
Community Arts and Health and Wellbeing
Arts Therapies Professions
Art in Humanities and Healthcare

These span the continuum of arts and health initiatives, from those for people who are fit and well, through those for people who are vulnerable to illness from stress, social isolation or difficult family circumstances, to those for patients in hospital and other healthcare settings.

In Wales we have many examples of successful arts and health projects. The Welsh Assembly Government is already supporting Healthy Sounds; a scheme to bring live music into hospitals and Gwanwyn; a festival to promote and celebrate creativity in older age. Our Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes involves over fifteen hundred schools in Wales, and many local schemes have used the arts to promote health. In Swansea, the University School of Health Science offers a course on medical sciences and humanities, which was the first of its kind in the UK. Many hospitals have engaged artists to improve the healthcare environment, and several NHS Trusts have established arts and health  strategies.

Wales is fortunate to have a thriving community of visual artists and arts therapists, musicians, dancers, film makers, writers, poets and dramatists. Their willingness to use their creative vision and skills for the benefit of others is the foundation for arts and health work and we are grateful to them. We hope that the examples included in this plan will serve to inspire others to explore the opportunities to promote and protect health and wellbeing through the arts.


Download the document from the Arts Council of Wales website. See web address below.