Arts and health

The Alliance consistently supports close collaboration between arts and health practitioners as a key element in building wellbeing and health for all Australians. It also promotes the evidence base relating to the health effects of various forms of arts, and has been a leader in seeking inter-governmental and multidisciplinary policy support for arts-in-health activities.

The Alliance recognises that the arts (in all its forms) are valuable as:

  • a means of communication on health and health-related issues;
  • therapy in a range of settings and for a variety of conditions, and widely used to complement treatment and management; and
  • a force for community development, to sustain communities and develop their capacity to deliver health-promoting lifestyles.

The Alliance’s advocacy of arts and health has included strong practical support for various initiatives. In recent years they have included priority for an arts and health stream at successive National Rural Health Conferences; support for the publication of Seeded – Great arts and health stories grown in regional Australia; and a submission to the National Cultural Policy Discussion Paper Being well – promoting arts and health in Australia’s cultural policy.

As part of this work, the Alliance has collaborated with organisations interested in developing arts and health practice in Australia, including the Institute for Creative Health, Regional Arts Australia and Arts and Health Australia.

National Arts and Health Framework

During 2013, the Alliance participated in a major national consultation on a National Framework for Arts and Health which was endorsed by Australian Health and Arts Ministers. The Framework seeks to commit Australian Health and Arts Ministers to recognise and support the place of arts and health in improving the health and wellbeing of Australians. It has been developed to enhance the profile of arts and health in Australia and to promote greater integration of the arts and health practice and approaches into health services, settings and facilities.

The Framework encourages partnerships between the arts and health sectors to develop new strategies and approaches and will be a useful tool for advocacy and a resource for practitioners.