An exploration of how arts-for-health services can effectively contribute to the promotion of wellbeing across different ethnic groups in Leicester.
Arts-for-health is a social movement that has developed over recent years in response to rising social and mental health needs in the population. A large number of researchers and practitioners, from a range of disciplines, have quickly developed a body of evidence showcasing the ability of the arts to impact our health in ways otherwise neglected in the medical healthcare system.
This study considers how, in response to this evidence, we can begin to integrate the arts more powerfully into our healthcare system in the UK and produce sustainable arts-for-health businesses as a result. It reflects on the barriers-to-entry created by our national culture, political landscape and economic structure, as we attempt to bring an entire industry to market.
The study is a qualitative inquiry which consults with residents of Leicester, from a range of ethnic backgrounds, about their mental health needs. These are then used within interviews with service providers from arts-for-health, traditional health industries and other community innovations, to develop a map of service provisions. In doing so, the study showcases where gaps exist within the current healthcare system and identifies an over saturation of other services. This is used as evidence to demonstrate the importance of a comprehensive approach to healthcare design, warranting the inclusion of new types of services such as arts-for-health.