Skip to content

Arts and culture for Mental Health Day

Today marks World Mental Health Day, a day that raises awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilises efforts in support of mental health.

The CultureforHealth project has been publishing inspirational stories about the impact culture and the arts have on health and well-being, drawing from the hundreds of case studies analysed in a state-of-the-art paper of the CultureforHealth project which will be published in November.

Among these stories are ones that highlight projects specifically focused on mental health. 

Overcoming burnout through arts

In 2020, the Cluj Cultural Centre implemented a pilot project of cultural prescriptions, offering participation in a series of specially designed creative workshops to a group of people with burnout symptoms.  

The workshops were built in collaboration with experts and researchers from the fields of art and health, and the creative activities were then led by a team of artists from Create.Act.Enjoy, a Cluj-based NGO known for its Art Therapy project. Based on practical exercises using various artistic techniques, the workshops encouraged participants to get in touch and express their emotions and thoughts, with the final purpose of helping them overcome their burnout.

Dance your stress away

The “Dance for Health” project is based on a study from Örebro University Hospital’s research centre. It aims at investigating the effect of unpretentious dance on girls aged 13-18 with symptoms of mental illness. The project uses various dance genres, creative improvisation, and relaxation techniques. The supportive community that permeated the project was of great value to the participants: The dance was seen as an oasis from stress and a refuge from high individual and perceived sociocultural demands. From this safe haven, the participants developed self-trust, which in turn generated joy and energy.

Music and Motherhood

The goal of this pilot project is to explore the positive effects of group singing for new mothers, experiencing postpartum depression symptoms. In a 10-week group singing intervention, facilitated by professional singing leaders, the pilot project will build upon the growing work that has been done to test the translatability of this kind of intervention in different linguistic and cultural contexts.

In this CultureforHealth pilot project, Cluj Cultural Centre, is working together with the Central Denmark Region under the supervision of the WHO Regional Office for Europe. CultureforHealth will share the results and more details about their intervention at the end of the project.

For more inspirational stories like this, stay tuned for the launch of our State of the Art research. We’ll present the #CultureforHealth evidence collected from over 300 studies demonstrating culture’s impact on health and well-being. Want a save-the-date for the event? Follow CultureforHealth for all of the updates on Facebook and on Twitter!