Mental Health Act Review
The Government has published an interim report from the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act which calls for changes to mental health provision to improve the way people’s dignity is respected when they come into contact with mental health services. Over 2,000 people have so far been part of the review process and it is likely to result in new mental health legislation and changes to mental health provision.
The Review notes that since the Act was introduced in 1983, many more people are now being sectioned. It also reports on significantly worse experiences for Black African Caribbean people interacting with mental health services.
Youth Arts, Health and Wellbeing
The Cultural Learning Alliance and charity Place2Be have published a briefing paper highlighting the ways in which young people’s engagement with arts and culture impact positively on their health and wellbeing.
The paper draws on the All Party Parliamentary Group report Creative Health to highlight research and evidence which supports the case for culture as a means of improving children and adolescents’’ health and wellbeing.
AGE UK Report on Creativity and Ageing
AGE UK has drawn on earlier research into wellbeing in later life to produce a report into the impact of culture and creativity on health and wellbeing as we age. The charity has identified access to culture as the strongest determinant of wellbeing in later life.
The report includes a range of resources and research into culture and ageing.
Museum Association Wellbeing Focus
The Museum Association has published a range of resources exploring the ways in which museums are exploring health and wellbeing.
It includes sections on volunteering, mental health and youth work with case studies from the UK and internationally.
Public Attitudes to the NHS
The King’s Fund has analysed people’s responses to health funding and found 86% of people think that the NHS is facing a funding crisis. Over 60% of people would be willing to pay more tax to support the NHS.
Support for tax rises is across the population however, many would expect more to be spent on the NHS at the expense of other areas of Government spending. More than half of people involved in the British Social Attitudes Survey expected the standard of care provided by the NHS to deteriorate over the next 5 years.
Wider Determinants of Health Tool
Public Health England has updated its resources for professionals looking to address the social factors which influence health outcomes. It brings together links to a range of resources including cultural activity which can improve health through tackling social issues.
The tool, which will continue to be developed and augmented over time aims to draw attention to the broad range of individual, social and environmental factors which influence our health. It also provides the public health system with intelligence on the wider determinants of health to help improve population health and reduce health inequalities.
Evaluation of Arts in Care Homes
The Baring Foundation and Arts Council England have published an evaluation of their jointly funded programme to introduce arts activities in clusters of care homes. It highlights some of the difficulties generated by the scheme’s ambitious but resource- and time-limited programme and highlights a wide range of ways funders and arts organisations could change approaches to work in this area in the future.
The report points to the background of economic austerity as a factor in some of the challenges faced by the programme. It discusses the cultural differences between care homes and cultural organisations, the limited capacity of small arts organisations to deliver projects over varying geographies and the challenge of working with the rapid turnover of staff in care settings. It highlights the many challenges around the type of facilities and spaces available in care settings and access issues faced by many residents. It celebrates the impact that creative activities can have on residents and also on staff and presents significant learning for future projects targeting care homes as well as guidance for funders and arts organisations looking to work in this area.
The report concludes that “High level discussions should now take place between the Care Quality Commission, the Baring Foundation and Arts Council England to explore the ways in which the experience and learning of the Arts in Care Homes programme can be disseminated throughout the arts and care sectors and embedded within care home practice in ways that impact upon CQC assessments.”
Health as a Social Movement
A new report by the RSA and the New Economics Foundation calls for a more localised, community-driven approach to health, drawing on a wider range of partners to turn the NHS into a “social movement”.
It reflects on a range of approaches being taken by different health providers to empower communities and commit to preventative approaches to health and wellbeing. The report, ‘From Principles to Practice’ and accompanying animation outlines eight principles for health and care system reform. These are:
· Act early: connect and mobilise citizens to develop a shared purpose and take collective action.
· Shift control: enable people to have more access to, and more control over, the resources in their community that impact on health and wellbeing.
· Collaborate widely: join forces with local anchor institutions, local CVS organisations and other public services.
· Share power: form partnerships between citizens and professionals, pooling different kinds of knowledge and experience.
· Change culture: work to change culture and practice within state and civil society organisations.
· Growing from local: make sure decisions and actions are rooted in local experience and build on the assets and experiences of the community.
· Building momentum: learn as you go and use every opportunity to spread good practice
· Bringing people together: Connect and mobilise citizens to build knowledge, help each other, develop a shared purpose and then take collective action in their communities to help each other stay well
One of the final actions of the National Alliance for Museums, Health and Wellbeing before it merged with the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing to form the new Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance was to publish its second report. The report opens with a foreword by Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England - this is what he says:
“As we are living longer, the need to improve people’s health One of the final actions of the National Alliance for Museums, Health and Wellbeing before it merged with the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing to form the new Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance was to publish its second report. The report opens with a foreword by Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England - this is what he says:
“As we are living longer, the need to improve people’s health and quality of life has never been more important. There is real potential for museums, which have a purpose to help us learn and to share knowledge, to play a long term role in supporting a healthier population. The heritage sector is a valuable asset to communities across England and can be a powerful force to enable more of us to live longer in good health. Museums and heritage venues bring people together at the heart of their communities, which helps both their physical and mental health at every stage of their life. As seen with the projects highlighted in this report, museums also have an important role to play in tacklin g health inequalities. The Birmingham Museums Trust has joined with local carers on mental wellbeing, and in Canterbury, The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge has worked with visually impaired primary school children. As many other examples in this report show, museums’ doors are open to people of all ages, backgrounds and social statuses and they reach out to them through targeted activities. By doing this, they foster an environment of social inclusion – a key driver for supporting a healthier population. This excellent report provides the basis for the health sector to strategically embed the role of the museums and the heritage sector at national and local level to improve the nation’s health and wellbeing.”
You can download copies of the report and more information about the impact of museums on health and wellbeing here:
Following an extensive recruitment process, the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance is delighted to announce that Victoria Hume has been appointed as its first Director.
Victoria is a composer, arts manager and researcher with many years’ experience of working with health and medicine. Her arts/health work began in London hospitals – moving from Chelsea & Westminster NHS Foundation Trust to Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, where she founded and ran rb&hArts, the Trust’s arts programme, for 11 years. Alongside this she worked on the King’s Fund’s ‘Enhancing the Healing Environment’ programme, and was a board member, and then Chair of London Arts in Health Forum. She has spent the last four years living and working in South Africa, based between the University of the Witwatersrand’s Health Communication Research Unit, the Wits School of Arts, and at the medical humanities programme at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER).
Victoria says: “I have been lucky enough to work across a huge number of different contexts in which creative practice and cultural theory connect with health and medicine. The arts and culture rest on valuing our capacity to create, to use our imaginations, to make unexpected connections. I want to help expand the ways in which the arts and culture can intersect with health and medicine: opening up possibilities for practice and research, allowing us to think differently about how knowledge is created, developing our resilience, and creating opportunities for our imaginations to flourish.” She will begin in her role in July 2018.