Culture and Health

Increasing place-centred initiatives for mental health and wellbeing

Scaling up place-based arts initiatives that support mental health and wellbeing. Research-informed strategic commitments and recommendations using the Arts for the Blues as a case example

The report is based on the project ‘Arts for the Blues: Towards integrating the use of the arts in healthcare and cultural settings in order to tackle depression and improve wellbeing in the North West of England'. It was funded by the AHRC/UKRI as part of the Mobilizing Community Assets to Tackle Health Inequalities research programme.
The former Public Health England estimates for 2019/20 that nearly 17% of people in the UK have been affected by a mental health problem, including depression, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mental health problems are often associated with poor general health, aggravated by health and socio-economic inequalities. Several recommendations emerged from this research for organisations to design for vertical and horizontal scalability, as well as for policy makers to create enabling conditions for impactful designs.