The Art of Social Prescribing: informing policy on creative interventions in mental health care

Lead Research Organisation: Liverpool John Moores University
Department Name: Institute of Cultural Capital

Abstract

Social prescribing provides a means for enabling primary care services to refer patients and service users with social, emotional or practical needs to a range of local, non-clinical services, often provided by the voluntary and community sector (VCS). Such non-clinical approaches are gaining added resonance in the mental health care sector due to their proactive, preventive qualities, and the opportunities created to provide strategically 'joined up' services across a range of cross-sector organisations. Within the Liverpool city region, there are many examples of hugely effective arts-based interventions and initiatives in mental health care, spear-headed by Mersey Care NHS Trust and leading arts and cultural organisations including National Museums Liverpool, Tate Liverpool and The Reader Organisation. The proposed network seeks to build upon the learning outcomes generated by these initiatives and associated research programmes to inform the strategic development of arts-based social prescribing in the city, including a co-produced policy framework for participating organisations, and an accompanying 'how-to' guide for applied research on the arts and social prescribing in mental health. This will be achieved via a series of themed research development workshops, with participants drawn from academia and relevant policy and practice communities. The regional model will then be used to inform national debate and policy development during a conference event to be held at the end of the funded period.

Planned Impact

As a research network funded under a public policy highlight notice, there are a number of communities of practice and interest, outside of academia, who will be invited to participate in and potentially benefit from the activities and outcomes of the proposed project. These include but are not limited to:

Cultural organisations and practitioners: with arts and cultural interventions (within the context of a public policy concern) as its focus, the network will be of significant interest to arts and cultural sectors, especially those practitioners with an interest in arts and mental health; participation and engagement; instrumentalism and cultural policy; the social, cultural and economic impact of cultural action and intervention.

Mental health care agencies and service providers: the network will make a considerable contribution to continuing debates on the relationship between arts and mental health and wellbeing, and will be of interest to health practitioners, rehabilitation workers and social service providers with professional experience in this area.

Cultural policy and advocacy agencies: bodies such as Arts Council England and the Department for Culture Media and Sport are key stakeholders in the proposed discussions, especially in relation to debates on cultural value and long-term socio-economic impacts of cultural action and interventions. A dedicated research programme of this nature should have significant cross-party interdepartmental appeal.

Local and national government: furthermore, due to its relationship with a number of government objectives (and associated learning outcomes) as identified above, applicants will endeavour to engage local and national government representatives with the network and its findings, to help shape national and international policy on arts and mental health, and cultural value more broadly.

Other potential interested parties include charities, voluntary groups and third sector organisations working in communities.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The Art of Social prescribing project facilitated a comprehensive appraisal of the efficacy of social prescribing as an integrated cultural commissioning model for the city of Liverpool. Complementing other research at the Institute of Cultural Capital on the social and economic impact of creative interventions in mental health care, the project engaged a breadth of national stakeholders, resulting in a co-produced policy framework for an asset-based cultural prescribing scheme with accompanying guidelines on researching the value and impact of arts-based referral models.
Exploitation Route Knowledge exchange activities are on-going, including membership in national networks including the Wellcome Trust-funded Social Prescribing Network. The PI is frequently consulted by local authorities and cultural partners seeking to develop arts-based social prescribing schemes. Most significantly, in 2016 the PI submitted research findings to a national inquiry led by the all party parliamentary group (APPG) on arts, health and wellbeing, convened to 'inform a vision for political leadership in the field of arts, health and wellbeing in order to support practitioners and stimulate progress'.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Healthcare,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://iccliverpool.ac.uk/?research=the-art-of-social-prescribing-informing-policy-on-creative-interventions-in-mental-health-care
 
Description Position paper on cultural policy in relation to health and wellbeing for Liverpool's Mayoral Commission on Creativity
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
URL http://liverpool.gov.uk/mayor/mayoral-commissions/creativity-commission/
 
Description Submission of evidence to all party parliamentary group (APPG) on arts health and wellbeing national inquiry
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL http://www.artshealthandwellbeing.org.uk/sites/default/files/AHW%20Inquiry%20June%202016.pdf
 
Description Member of national Social Prescribing Network 
Organisation University of Westminster
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Sharing of Art of Social Prescribing findings and ideas with network members, contributing to national debate and evidence base on social prescribing movement.
Collaborator Contribution Led by University of Westminster with support from Wellcome Trust.
Impact New network launched in January 2016.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Member of national Social Prescribing Network 
Organisation Wellcome Trust
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Sharing of Art of Social Prescribing findings and ideas with network members, contributing to national debate and evidence base on social prescribing movement.
Collaborator Contribution Led by University of Westminster with support from Wellcome Trust.
Impact New network launched in January 2016.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Art of Social prescribing national conference - 17th September 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact National conference on arts-based social prescribing led by PI in collaboration with the Arts Council England-funded Cultural Commissioning Programme and new economic foundation (nef). Attended by approx. 120 stakeholders including arts and cultural organisations, voluntary services and commissioners. Held at Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool on 17th September 2015.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://storify.com/ncvo/making-connections-the-art-of-social-prescribing
 
Description Plenary speaker at 7th International Conference on Arts and Health, Sydney, Australia, November 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Plenary paper on Art of Social Prescribing project, including recommendations on a city-wide model for asset-based cultural prescribing in the city of Liverpool.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.artsandhealth.org/conferences/the-art-of-good-health-and-wellbeing-sydney-2015/plenary-sp...