Social prescribing myth buster
A comprehensive guide by London Arts and Health designed to dispel some of the myths surrounding social prescribing in the arts and cultural sector.
This guide has been a year in the making and we at London Arts and Health are so excited to see these resources come to life as a downloadable guide, website, podcasts and video.
I want to thank the Culture and Creative Industries Unit, GLA, for starting the process and for all the incredible arts practitioners, medical and care staff and funders we have worked with to produce this.
Creative activity has long been known to have tangible effects on health and quality of life. The arts, creativity and the imagination are agents of wellness: they help keep the individual resilient, aid recovery and foster a flourishing society.
Arts in health programmes across the capital are using diverse and dynamic disciplines in a variety of health, care and community settings for expressive, restorative, educational and therapeutic purposes.
London faces one of the highest levels of health inequality in the world. With life spans of residents living just streets apart varying greatly. Covid-19 has highlighted and increased the divide in the health and wellbeing experienced in the city.
In our current political and economic climate, arts in health offer a professional, value-for-money contribution to mainstream health care as part of the social prescribing movement and yet we know that many of our members and the cultural practitioners across the Capital are struggling to get involved in the process.
This guide is designed to dispel some of the myths surrounding social prescribing in the arts and cultural sector. We recognise the importance of hyperlocal grassroots organisations in leading the London recovery and we aim to ensure a level playing field for all who offer culture and arts for health and wellbeing.
Jenni Regan, Director, London Arts and Health
Introduction: what is arts and cultural prescribing?
Humans have long used arts as a way to make sense of the world, build connections and define themselves whilst benefiting from the arts’ therapeutic effects.