WHO: Arts and Health | CultureForHealth

Today, we are pleased to share a synthesis of WHO’s report, “Arts and Health: Supporting Well Being of Forcibly Displaced People,” created in collaboration with our partners. This synthesis is a response to CAE’s project #CultureForHealth, a cross-European collaborative project co-funded by the European Commission, involving Culture Action Europe, Trans Europe Halles, Central Denmark Region, the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture, Clujean Cultural Centre, and Društvo Asociacija.

“The connection between art and mental well-being has long been recognized. Arts activities are complex or multimodal activities comprising multiple different components known to be health promoting, including social interaction, sensory activation, emotional expression, cognitive stimulation and physical activity.”

Within the framework of linking the arts with wellbeing of displaced people who have suffered significant distress, arts activities can be relevant in improving health and well-being by promoting multiple different psychological, behavioral and social processes in displaced populations and their host communities.

Included in the report is a summary of the key findings and syntheses on the importance of culture and arts in the wellbeing of forcefully displaced people.

1. An estimated 84 million people have been displaced globally as of 2021. The war in Ukraine alone forced over 11.9 million people to leave their homes in the first half of 2022.

2. In addition to supporting the preservation of personal identity, heritage, and experience, arts activities can contribute to psychological, behavioral, and social well being.

3. The artistic expression and its varieties can be a powerful tool to promote social inclusion, social cohesion, social acceptance, and belonging for forcibly displaced individuals and their host communities.

4. Culture is a vital indicator of and contribution to resilience, health, and well-being in a community. As a result, the arts and culture have an important role to play in the well-being and social cohesion of both forcibly displaced people and their host communities.

Workers in a variety of sectors can benefit from this report, including health professionals, policymakers, relief workers, cultural organizations, arts therapists, and artists.  Learn more about the CultureForHealth project on this website.


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