Arts for Health & Wellbeing

Seeing the whole picture

At The Starfish Collaborative we strongly believe that all people can flourish and achieve and fulfil their potential when they feel supported and part of a community. In a nurturing environment people are more able and more motivated to contribute to their local community/workplace.

‘Mental ill health has a massive impact on people in the UK and our region. It affects many aspects of people’s lives, and aside from individuals and their families, it impacts on communities, workplaces, public services, our economy, and our society as a whole.’ (THRIVE West Midlands, Action Plan, West Midlands Combined Authority Mental Health Commission 2017:p.13)

Over recent years, there has been a growing understanding of the impact that taking part in the arts can have on health and wellbeing. By supplementing medicine and care, the arts can improve the health of all people who experience levels of mental or physical health problems. Engaging in the arts can:

  • Improve individual health and wellbeing.
  • Generate progressive community environments.
  • Benefit staff retention and professional development in the workplace.

The positive and long term effects that active engagement with participatory arts can have on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities is clear in Coventry’s Cultural Strategy 2017-2027, approved by Coventry City Council and outlining a ten-year vision for the cultural life of Coventry, building on the existing heritage and culture of Coventry.

Goal 4 (Health and Well-being): Arts and culture are core to the health and well-being of the city. Participation in and enjoyment of city wide professional and community arts programming responds to the needs of all generations and combats isolation and mental health in our most vulnerable communities. 

However, whilst participating in arts activities is proven to be beneficial, often there are still other areas of support and development that individuals need in order to move forward in their lives.

At The Starfish Collaborative we bring together key elements of participatory arts and combine them with other areas of support and development that individuals need in order to move forward in their lives including psychological approaches of mindfulness, relaxation and stress management and activities that focus on aspiration building and future planning.                                                                                                              As such, the work we design and deliver can make a powerful contribution to the city’s regeneration agenda. 

Further reading:

Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing

Coventry Cultural Strategy Goals 2017-2027

The Guardian – Arts & Health article [11th Oct 2017]