Arts for health and wellbeing

Find out how the NHS in Wales is using the arts to keep people well, aid recovery and improve quality of life.

1 August 2018

Engagement with the arts can make a powerful contribution to a person’s mental health and wellbeing.

This briefing provides an overview of the ways that NHS Wales is realising this opportunity and improving outcomes for patients.

Key points

  • The arts can help keep you well, aid your recovery, improve your quality of life and support you to live longer.
  • Being creative enhances mental health, boosts emotional and psychological wellbeing, helps build self-esteem, mitigates social isolation and loneliness and promotes more cohesive communities, increasing wellbeing among staff in health and social care.
  • There are many ways to be creative and it doesn’t matter what you do. It can be anything from writing, design, playing music, scrapbooking, pottery, cake decorating, knitting, sewing, woodwork, photography, gardening or dancing.
  • Through the Memorandum of Understanding between the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh NHS Confederation, we have an excellent opportunity to promote and raise awareness of the benefits of the arts and how being creative can improve mental health and wellbeing.
  • To ensure the care received is centred around needs, it is vital that the NHS works collaboratively with colleagues across the public sector and with all partners within communities.