Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Non-Profit of the Week: Art-ful Healing

We can all agree that art intrigues us, inspires us, and betters our quality of life. But in terms of "quality of life", just how much can art do for us? When looking at our health and well-being, is the presence of art beneficial?

Carol Strickland of the Washington Post recently wrote an article on this subject and puts it best, "As health-care costs skyrocket, a down-to-earth approach to healing is emerging, complementing high-tech medicine with high-touch arts." There is a growing assumption that incorporating music, visual art, writing and performance into clinical care can increase feelings of well-being and even improve health. Using art as health care has been shown to reduce stress, increased cooperation with painful procedures, and has helped medical staffs communicate with patients.

The Society for the Arts in Health care is a non-profit organization, based in Washington D.C., dedicated to advancing arts as integral to health care. According to their web-site the Society for the Arts in Health care fulfills their mission of demonstrating the valuable roles the arts play in enhancing the healing process by:

  • Assisting in the professional development and management of arts programming for health care populations.
  • Providing resources and education to health care and arts professionals; and
    Encouraging and supporting research and investigation into the beneficial effects of the arts in health care.

The Society has created a nation-wide community of members, including hospitals, museums, researchers, physicians, students and universities all working towards the same goal. You can support the Society by becoming a member or making a donation. I applaud the society for their efforts in advocating art as part of health care. A spoonful of pottery does make the medicine go down after all..... in the most delightful way.

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