The Ministry of Culture, from April 2023, is piloting the innovative project of Cultural Prescription as a complementary treatment in Mental Health. The project is a pilot and is funded with 8,200,000 euros from the Recovery Fund. It includes the elaboration of a research project, which is implemented by the Research University Institute of Mental Health, Neurosciences and Medical Accuracy “Kostas Stefanis”, as well as the development of pilot actions of cooperation between Cultural Bodies supervised by the Ministry of Culture and Mental Health Institutions.

As the Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni, stated, “According to a recent report by the World Health Organization, the arts and engagement with them have a therapeutic effect on physical and mental health. This beneficial effect goes beyond the individual and extends to society as a whole. The research project has been implemented since last April by the University Research Institute of Mental Health, “K. Stephanis”, under a Programme Contract with the Ministry of Culture. At the same time, the Ministry of Culture is launching collaborative actions between public cultural organisations and mental health institutions, in order to have the data that will allow a safe evaluation of the pilot implementation of the whole programme. This is a pilot, but extremely important and innovative programme, which can contribute to changing the perception of mental health by reinforcing the value of inclusion, which is a priority for the Ministry of Culture. At the same time, it expands the action of our cultural organisations by enhancing their social role and footprint.”

The Deputy Minister of Culture, Christos Dimas, said: “Through the cultural prescription, the state seeks in the first instance to demonstrate research/scientific evidence of the complementary beneficial impact that the systematic contact of arts and culture has on people suffering from mental illnesses. Subsequently, by harnessing the beneficial role of contemporary artistic creation, citizens with established mental illness or impaired mental health will henceforth have culture and the arts as an ally, prescribed as part of their treatment. It is a pioneering action that integrates the arts into the preventive and complementary treatment of people with mental health problems and/or psychological burden of chronic illness, with the aim of promoting their mental health.”

The aim of the research project is to study the beneficial effects of patients’ contact with art and culture, the process and ways of participation of patients as beneficiaries and cultural institutions as providers and finally the monitoring and evaluation of the programme in order to optimise it.

For this reason, the Ministry of Culture invites in the first phase of the pilot implementation of the programme its Supervised and Regularly Funded Cultural Institutions to carry out, in cooperation with Mental Health Institutions, Pilot Actions of Therapy through Art, which will be addressed to all ages and will include:

  • Dramatherapy Programmes
  • Artistic Psychotherapy Programmes
  • Dance Therapy Programmes
  • Cinema Therapy Programmes
  • Music Therapy Programmes

The pilot actions of cultural prescription will expand the cultural programmes of the Cultural Institutions, constituting an additional social offer with emphasis on the field of Mental Health. At the same time, a new field of cooperation between Culture and Health will be created, with new services provided, cultivating new synergies and conditions for a harmonious interconnection of both sectors.

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