Lifting lockdown: Renewed access to arts and cultural activities

Worsley, Joanne, Billington, Josie ORCID: 0000-0002-0632-612X, Balabanova, Ekaterina and Chapple, Melissa
(2022) Lifting lockdown: Renewed access to arts and cultural activities. BMC PUBLIC HEALTH, 22 (1). 1887-.

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<h4>Background</h4>The effects of COVID-19 on mental health are profound. While there is a growing body of evidence on arts supporting mental health, the re-engagement with in-person arts and cultural activity has remained slow following the lifting of restrictions.<h4>Methods</h4>Interviews with 14 representatives, including providers and practitioners, from 12 arts and cultural organisations within the Liverpool City Region (LCR) were conducted. The aim was to examine the impact of COVID-19 restrictions easing on arts and cultural provision in the LCR, and on the mental health and wellbeing of those whom arts and cultural organisations serve, including those who would usually access arts through formal healthcare routes (e.g., those usually served via arts organisations' partnership with health or social care providers). Data were analysed using framework analysis.<h4>Results</h4>Three overarching themes were identified: The new normal: 'Out of crisis comes innovation'; Complexities of operating 'in the new COVID world'; and Reimagining arts in mental healthcare.<h4>Conclusion</h4>As engagement in community and cultural activities plays a public health role, a hybrid delivery of arts and culture - ensuring continued online access alongside in-person provision - will be vital for people's recovery. Alongside efforts to reimagine arts in mental healthcare in the wake of the crisis caused by the pandemic, the role of arts and culture in providing stigma-free environments to reconnect the vulnerable and isolated is more critical than ever. Recommendations on the role of arts and culture in sustaining the mental health and wellbeing of the population and embedding the arts within clinical care and public health prevention schemes are provided.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19, Renewed access, Re-connecting, Hybridity, Public mental health, Wellbeing, Social prescribing
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Population Health
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of the Arts
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2022 16:01
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 19:43
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-022-14282-7
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