There is a growing body of evidence indicating the arts have a role to play in promoting good health and preventing and managing illness. WHO has called for governments to take an intersectoral approach, both within and across traditional areas of policy, to realise the potential of the arts for public health. To explore what global progress is being made towards this aim, this paper from the Department of Behavioural Science and Health, University College London, presents examples of arts and health policy development from diverse government areas: health, arts, local governments, and cross government.

These examples, which have been selected from a scoping review of 172 relevant global policy documents, indicate that many health and arts policy makers view the relationship between arts engagement and improved health in quite general terms, although some are investing in more targeted applications of the arts to address specific public health issues. The most promising and concrete commitments are happening when health and arts ministries or agencies work together on policy development.

Daisy Fancourt, Katey Warran, Pilar Letrondo, Rosie Dow

The Lancet


Arts and health, Policy, Public Health


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