Arts and public mental health: exemplars from Scandinavia

Anita Jensen, Wenche Torrissen, Theodore Stickley

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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Introduction There is growing research evidence, both globally and in
Scandinavia, to suggest that engagement with arts and cultural activities has
a positive effect on mental health and well-being.
Methods Through a scoping review using a five-stage method, this article
identifies examples of arts practice that is supported by research for mental
health and well-being in Scandinavia, exploring how engagement in arts and
culture activities may be good for the mental health of the public through the
different stages of life: childhood and youth, working life and older age.
Results Examples of dance, music, arts on prescription, visits to museums
and galleries, visual arts, literature and theatre encompass the variety
of arts and culture activities that are used for improving mental health in
the Scandinavian population. Benefits are identified as the improvement
of psychosocial skills, including coping, self-esteem, resilience and
communication, as well as developing relationships.
Conclusion By embracing and recognizing the added health value and
impact of arts engagement, policies could include access to arts and
culture activities, targeting people with mental ill-health as well as public
health promotion. Research suggests that arts engagement in Scandinavia
is important for mental health and well-being throughout life. Therefore, it
is crucial for public mental health and well-being strategies to be linked to
regional and local policies to ensure appropriate implementation for local
TidsskriftPublic Health Panorama
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)193-200
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 29 mar. 2020


  • Kultur og sundhed