Arts Health Network Canada was founded in 2010 to bring arts and health activities into the mainstream of Canadian life so that all Canadians are able to engage in art for the health of it. We are Canada's primary arts and health networking and resource hub for artists, arts therapists, researchers, and health care professionals working in communities, in medicine, in academia and other related fields. We champion engagement in the arts for health and well-being.
Why Arts and Health?
Studies have proven repeatedly that the arts can have a profound effect on human health. The arts, when focused on health outcomes, have been shown to provide effective treatments and relief for a variety of conditions including PTSD, autism, and dementia. Whether it’s an elderly woman with dementia whose memories are triggered by moving to a familiar song, or children in a paediatric cancer ward who are able to leave behind the worries of treatment and just be children through drawing and painting, pairing the arts with health care can have a profound impact on patient lives. The presence of arts in health care environments has also been shown to have a positive effect on health care providers, caregivers, hospital environments, and communities.
Arts programming is beginning to take a more central role in Canadian health care facilities and organizations. However Canada lags about forty years behind many other Western nations in recognizing and supporting the value of health care-directed arts health care-activities. In addition to the benefits sustained on a personal level by patients and caregivers, arts-based programming provides a positive economic impact for health care institutions by reducing the use of care staff, medications, and medical facilities. Patients who attend arts-based programming in hospitals have lower rates of readmission.
What We Do
Your donation will help Arts Health Network Canada raise awareness about the impact of arts in health care through our website and social media; and for professionals through conferences, and symposia. You will also be helping us work to build public and governmental understanding and awareness of the many benefits of arts in health. We have created a network of professionals working in the field, and individuals interested in the field, in order to disseminate research findings, raise awareness about the positive impact of arts on health, and encourage collaboration between like-minded individuals and organizations. Using our website and innovative social media strategy, we have developed a repository of the latest information on arts and health across Canada that is easily accessible and frequently updated.
Additional programming that will benefit from your contribution includes the establishment of national, scientifically-based strategies for evaluating the outcomes of arts and health initiatives that also acknowledge the qualitative benefits. We also spotlight various extraordinary organizations and projects that are shining examples of the benefits of arts in health care.
Finally, you will help Arts Health Network Canada build a toolkit for professionals and organizations. This toolkit will help both health care and arts-community stakeholders to determine the best arts-based experience to provide most advantageous benefit to their clients, patients, and health consumers. In the future, we will develop focused tool kits to address the benefits of arts for specific health concerns, and for specific vulnerable populations.