Pre-emptive and preventative collaborations and therapies

Studies have shown that learning, exercise and creative activity contributes to emotional, physical and mental well-being.

I would recommend that before pills are prescribed, patients can be prescribed a course of activities which would help with stress, social isolation and even pain management.

There are many success stories where this has proven to reduce visits to the doctor.

Two (of thousands!) of examples of good practice:

In 1963 Dr John Coope of Bollington enrolled his patients onto art or singing courses. This became so popular that since then, there has been a full volunteer led festival in the village. 

'START' in Manchester is an art focussed charity concentrating on providing art to improve mental health. 

Collaborations with appropriate professionals outside the medical field can contribute significantly to increased heath benefits to participants whilst enabling the health service to save monies thus increasing financial efficiency.

Why the contribution is important

I have worked with communities for many years. I have seen the benefits that learning for leisure have on individuals, first hand.  I have also seen how, when funding has been removed from education and therefore, provision is removed for participants to access creative activities, that individuals have suffered from poor mental health and in some cases, increased alcohol abuse.

Having been a lecturer in adult education (across) for many years, I have many examples of how activities can benefit individuals but here are several:

During a craft course, a student (student A) was absent due to depression brought about by worry for her disabled son. The students would send cards and as the tutor, I would keep in contact.

After a few weeks absent, another student bumped into student A, at the local market. She encouraged her to return to class.

After several months of attendance, student A revealed to me that the continued support from the class and the creative therapy received during, literally stopped her from committing suicide.

A second student, some years apart from the first, during private art classes, confided to me that she was able to reduce her anti-depressants as she found that attending a weekly class helped with her mental well-being.

After delivering creative workshops with Project Earth (a Derbyshire mental well-being charity) a sessional evaluation is completed, with individuals stating how their mood had improved after a workshop. Statistics can be provided on these.

NIACE has many publications, outlining the benefits to individuals and groups, who participate in learning and creativity (I would include sports and the wider arts here also) and these are available online.


by Mosaicdeb on August 06, 2018 at 08:51PM

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