As part of this year’s Creativity & Wellbeing Week I’ll be taking part in a panel discussion for London Arts in Health Forum.
Over recent years, there has been a growing understanding of the impact that creative or cultural activity can have on health and wellbeing.
Accessing the arts and heritage – and more generally working with our own creativity using our imaginations – can improve our health if we have diagnosed mental or physical health problems, but is also good for our health and wellbeing more generally, and for the health of our communities and society.
We are beginning to see the subject being represented in the media. Recent documentaries including Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure and Darcey Bussell: Dancing for Happiness both highlighted the transformative power of creativity. This event will include speakers from both films as well as television commissioners to examine how this subject is approached as well as what the appetite is for future commissions.
Social prescribing, where patients may be referred to social activities instead of, or as complementary to more ‘conventional’ forms of medicine, is big news at the moment. Social Prescribing is currently being championed by both the Department of Health and NHS England in its Long-Term Plan.
Health secretary Matt Hancock, spoke about the culture and creativity in relation to social prescribing saying that:
“The arts can help keep us well, aid our recovery and support longer lives better lived. The arts can help major challenges facing health and social care, aging, loneliness, mental health concerns and other long term conditions, and the arts can help save money for the NHS and the social care system.”
And the NHS 5 Year Plan states that: “Within five years over 2.5 million more people will benefit from ‘social prescribing’, a personal health budget, and new support for managing their own health in partnership with patients’ groups and the voluntary sector”.
But what does social prescribing mean in practice? Many would say that It’s nothing new and we will hear from experts who have been following this model for years. Does it work, what is available out there and is it just a ploy by the government to save money? We will also be myth busting and examining what creative wellbeing activities are and the impact they can have on people.
The event is aimed at members of the media including journalists, drama writers and producers and aims to inform and demystify creative wellbeing activity. We also want to showcase some of the incredible work being done in this field and feature some case studies as an inspiration for those working in the media. This isn’t just for those working in health or the arts this is an event to show how this subject can be used in drama, soaps, documentaries and features also.
Panel 1 – Broadcasting the message
We are seeing an emergence of factual entertainment featuring Arts and Health activity. We speak to those who are doing it well and question what place the subject has in news and drama.
Confirmed Speakers: (More to be announced)
Daisy Fancourt, Wellcome Research Fellow at UCL, (BBC Everyday Creativity project)
Sebastian Crutch, Professor of Neuropsychology at the Dementia Research Centre (Our Dementia Choir)
Ross Wilson, Creative Director Matchlight (Dancing for Happiness)
Panel 2 – Myth busting and Social Prescribing, buzzword or a future health model?
What is and isn’t arts and health? Is it Art Therapy? Does it have to take place in a healthcare setting? What are the benefits? What are the issues?
Our supporters will be providing stereotypes and misconceptions around the sector which our panel will then discuss and take questions from the audience.
What is social prescribing? Why is the NHS so keen? Will it benefit the people it is aimed at or just pass the problem onto voluntary services?
Confirmed Speakers: (More to be announced)
Angela Samata, Campaigner, Arts Professional and Presenter
Daniel Regan, Artist and Director Free Space Project
Sir Sam Everington, Tower Hamlets GP and Chair of NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group, Chair of the London Clinical Commissioning Council.
The event will also include performances from some of the finest creativity and wellbeing projects working in this field.
Date & Time
Fri, 14th June 2019
14:00 – 17:00
Henry Auditorium and Williams Lounge Wellcome Collection
183 Euston Road