This report summarizes the proceedings of an expert meeting held on 15–16 December 2022 in Budapest, Hungary, on the value of arts interventions for health, focusing on initiatives for mainstreaming arts into prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (‎NCDs)‎ in the WHO European Region. Participants included academics in a range of disciplines, civil society groups, Member State representatives and WHO staff.

NCD prevention and control, a critical area of public health, is particularly well suited for arts interventions. Arts-based activities are multimodal, with psychological, behavioural and social effects, can be delivered in low-risk, cost-effective initiatives and can significantly improve health and wellbeing. They can provide insights into complex behavioural barriers and drivers, encourage participation and outreach, support healing and disease management, galvanize behaviour change and encourage a culture of health and wellbeing. They can be used in the context of many NCDs, including mental health, age-related disorders and chronic illness.

The meeting identified various priorities for strengthening the intersection between arts and health, including building a strong community of practice and engaging in advocacy and awareness-raising. Participants discussed ways for supporting these priorities, such as capacity-building, thematic focus areas, funding and design considerations.

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WHO Regional Office for Europe


Arts and health, Public Health


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