Culture For Mentally Healthy Communities

May 22, 2023, 10:14 am

The CultureForHealth project is supporting the European Mental Health Week, 22-28 May 2023. This year’s theme is Mentally Healthy Communities.

What is the European Mental Health Week?

The European Mental Health Week, run by Europe’s largest independent mental health NGO Mental Health Europe (MHE), aims to raise awareness about the importance of mental health in our everyday lives.

Under this year’s theme, Mentally Healthy Communities, the week seeks to “increase understanding and learning about mental health in our communities, schools, workplaces and at home so that everyone can thrive and flourish at every stage of life”.

Culture’s Importance for Community Mental Health

Culture is central to good mental health in general and in communities in particular. You can read all about it on the Culture For Health project website and in the Culture For Health report that scoped 310 scientific studies, including 131 dealing with ‘culture and community wellbeing’.

The positive health and wellbeing outcomes of cultural interventions in communities are substantial across different themes: social inclusion, school-related and work-related wellbeing, local development and quality of life, and built environment.

Some Highlights from the Culture For Health Report

  • Active cultural participation such as singing, playing music and storytelling can increase social inclusion and/or bonding
  • Engagement in community arts was found to facilitate increased quality of life, enjoyment of life, as well as a sense of community belonging, for refugees and asylum seekers
  • Participatory arts projects enabled community well-being, fostered leadership skills and encouraged people to take up new roles and responsibilities in their communities

“Mental Health in all Policies” Joint Statement

Culture Action Europe and CultureForHealth endorse the “Mental Health in all Policies” Thematic Network Joint Statement, in the belief that everyone has the right to good mental health and that policies and actions within and beyond the health sector need to be put in place to promote and protect the mental health of our population. Read it here.

Join Us to Find Out More!

Handle with Care: Culture for Social Wellbeing | Beyond the Obvious 2023
7-10 June 2023 | Elefsina, Greece

This international get-together invites practitioners, organisations and institutions, policy-makers, thinkers, researchers, activists and artivists from the cultural, social and health sectors working on topics related to care, well-being, health and culture.

Culture For Health Compendium Launch Event
10.00-11.30 CEST, 22 June 2023

We invite practitioners from the cultural, social and health sectors to actively participate in our upcoming online event dedicated to the launch of the Compendium of sustainable culture-based solutions for well-being and health. The Compendium is a very practical guide for those interested to design, improve or scale up effective cultural interventions aimed at improving health and well-being.

—FULLY BOOKED— Culture and Mental Health – Practices and Policies
16.00-18.00, 23 May 2023 | Brussels, Belgium

Through examples from the field and a panel discussion with decision-makers, this event offers the opportunity to discuss how we can make better use of and systematically include cultural approaches in our health and social care systems. The event takes place as part of the EU-funded projects “CultureForHealth” and “Clowning Connects Us”. It will be held at the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the European Union and will be followed by a light reception.

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