Arts on prescription – social networks an important outcome

A study published in Nursing Times in May 2010,’Does prescribing participation in arts help to promote recovery for mental health clients?‘, looked at the experiences of people involved in an arts on prescription programme. Participants benefited by having a ‘safe place’ to come to, making new friends and social networks, experiencing peer support and opportunities for future education and work. It also enabled some to access education and voluntary work. It comments that facilitating social networks and friendships may be one of the most important things mental health nurses can do for clients.

The  interrim evaluation of a pilot Arts on Prescription project by Arts and Minds in Cambridgeshire reports substantial reductions in participants’ levels of depression and anxiety, on the GAD-7 (Anxiety) and PHQ-9 (Depression) scales.  Following the programme, participants were given information signposting them to further arts and craft activities in the area.

An evaluation of a similar scheme developed by Healing Arts on the Isle of Wight – ‘Time Being 1′ – resulted in 74% saying they would continue creative activities long-term; 64% showing lower indicators of anxiety and depression; 69% recording improvements in social health; 64% in self-confidence and self-esteem and 63% in their physical health and outlook. Quoted in ‘A prospectus for arts and health‘, published by the Arts Council of England.

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Originally posted: September 28th, 2010


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