HARP research included in Public Health Wales research and evaluation conference
Authors(s), Creator(s) and Contributors: Sofia Vougioukalou
Publication Date: 11/10/2021
Categories: Whitepapers / Research
Art in the time of Covid: how did creative innovation support people’s health and wellbeing during the pandemic in Wales?
The impact of the pandemic on the health and wellbeing of healthcare workers and people living with challenging physical and mental health conditions was devastating. Furthermore, most existing psychosocial support mechanisms for these groups (including arts and health interventions) in hospitals and the community were abruptly stopped. The HARP programme supported 17 new interdisciplinary arts and health teams across the public and voluntary sectors in Wales to rapidly innovate using the arts in new ways to support the most vulnerable peopleParticipants include people with lived experiences of cystic fibrosis, dementia, alcohol dependency, anxiety, depression, hearing loss, neurodivergence and victims of sexual violence who engaged in singing, poetry, dancing, storytelling, painting and theatre.
HARP found that following the initial pause in face to face delivery of community and therapeutic arts, the creative professionals quickly adapted their practice to remote delivery via videoconferencing facilities and created safe online creative environments and overcame digital access challenges. This enabled radical new ways of reaching socially isolated audiences struggling to adjust to the changing pace of the pandemic and the reality of lockdown.
These emerging non-clinical online therapeutic spheres created new and challenging ’knowledge brokering’ and ‘boundary spanning’ roles (Neal, Neal & Brutzman 2021, Kislov, Harvey & Jones 2021) for creative professionals who mediated between arts, health and social care. These emerging roles challenge the way artists traditionally sit within health and social care and create new opportunities for social prescribing and non-pharmacological psychosocial interventions.