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Bringing art to health sites

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By Fiona Reid
Bringing art to health sites

A UNIQUE programme has been launched in the region bringing together art and healthcare.

Supported by Dumfries and Galloway Health Board Endowment Fund, OutPost Arts (OPA) is coordinating a two-year Art in Healthcare programme for the local NHS.

It will see a range of activities across healthcare sites that aim to enhance clinical environments and improve wellbeing of staff, visitors and patients.

There will be public exhibitions and art installations, as well as participatory and live events programmes, visual artists, writers, performers, crafting professionals and community groups.

It has already started with history trails for dementia patients, a touring pop-up exhibition programme, and a programme of creative mindfulness workshops for inpatients and staff at Midpark Hospital.

It has been described as: “a unique project for Dumfries and Galloway and the first of its kind in the region”.

And it’s part of the wider DG Creative Wellbeing scheme, which also includes a Community Creative Wellbeing programme.

For that, OPA are rolling out ‘creative prescribing’ region-wide to engage people who would benefit most from creative intervention.

It started in April and 45 people are now taking part in an Art Journal Project, which involves artist-led activities, forming new, supporting creative communities to combat isolation, loneliness and poor mental health. A box of curated art supplies is gifted to each participant, and via a series of weekly remote and in-person workshops/creative experiences, a personal art journal is developed. The idea is to enhance existing skills, develop new skills and understandings, and empower participants to introduce creative routines into their lives to support long-lasting wellbeing. The third strand is the development of a Creative Wellbeing Network for creative/culture, third sector, health, and social care sectors to communicate, share knowledge and opportunities and featuring events, forums and socials. The focus will be on ‘amplifying voices, challenging stigma, addressing barriers and inequalities, and telling important stories’.

A roadshow will take place across the region between August and October to increase awareness.

The wellbeing programme and network are supported by funding from DG Health Board Endowment Fund, National Lottery Community Fund, Holywood Trust, The Robertson Trust and Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund.


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