SingingIn this section we’ve included a selection of views from people involved in arts and health, ranging from the Editor of the British Medical Journal to the previous Department of Health joint lead on arts in health and National Director for Mental Health in England. Click on the headings for the full text.

British Medical Journal – cost
In a 2002 article which many practitioners view as a landmark endorsement for the arts and health field, Richard Smith, Editor of the British Medical Journal, argued that allocating just 0.5 per cent of the UK healthcare budget to the arts might have a homoeopathic-style effect in improving people’s well-being.

What participants say
Creativity is about development and personal (deeper) well-being… It’s about learning and discovery … It’s about having a sense of purpose, being appreciated by others, and being engaged.

Dr Malcolm Rigler
Dr Malcolm Rigler is one of the pioneers of the arts and health movement in the UK. He has more than 30 years experience as a full time GP and from 1982 until 1999 he worked in Dudley, West Midlands, where he was the first NHS GP to develop  arts and health projects.

Radio 4 – Do the arts have a role in health?
Do the arts have a role in health? In this 30 minute radio programme broadcast in 2006, Dr Mark Porter looks at how arts and health activities are helping to improve people’s health and well-being, and talks to experts in the field.

Professor Louis Appleby
Professor Louis Appleby was Department of Health joint lead on arts in health, National Director for Mental Health in England until 2010, and is now National Clinical Director for Health and Criminal Justice. Here he describes how our approach to health has changed in the last decade.

Professor Stephen Clift
Stephen Clift, Professor of Health Education in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at Canterbury Christ Church University and Director of Research at the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, talks about the work of the Centre and a number of international studies that indicate causal benefits to health.

Lord Howarth
Lord Howarth of Newport, Member of Parliament from 1983 until 2005, Minister for the Arts at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport 1998 and life peer since 2005, highlights the distinctive power of the arts, and points to some of the evidence.

Mike White
Mike White, Senior Research Fellow in Arts in Health at the Centre for Medical Humanities (CMH) at Durham University believes that the single greatest factor affecting our health is the extent to which we are socially connected.

Photo: j_wijnands. Reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 generic licence.

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