On the 6th of October, the WHO Regional Office for Europe held an international conference on art and health in Copenhagen. Through specific efforts and projects, the one day conference explored the possibility for membership countries in all of Europe to implement art based interventions in health care. The Nordic Culture Fund participated in the conference as part of an ongoing partnership with WHO.
The conference, which was hosted by the WHO in collaboration with Jameel Arts and Health Lab and Central Denmark Region, brough together public officials, civil servants, decision makers within the sectors of both health and arts, as well as international experts and artists from different countries.
Part of the conference was based on the project “Music and Motherhood” (MaM), a pilot study and a health care project about the implementation of artistic programmes in health care. In this project new mothers experiencing Post Partum Depression (PPD) gathered in singing groups, not for the children’s sake, but for themselves and each other. The project has been conducted in co-operation with local efforts in Romania, Italy and Denmark.
Dr. Nils Fitje, Technical Officer at the Behavioural and Cultural Insights Unit , WHO Europe.
Anni Syrjäläinen, Senior Advisor at the Nordic Culture Fund participated in a panel discussion on the Music & Motherhood pilot project.
The cultural minister of Denmark, Jakob Engel-Schmidt held the opening speech at the conference.
From left: Robb Butler, Director of Communicable Diseases, Environment and Healt, WHO Europe; Christopher Bailey Art & Health Lead, WHO; Jakob Engel-Schmidt.
The Nordic Culture Fund has supported the project from the very beginning, as part of the Funds partnership with WHO. The partnership is part of the Fund’s Globus initiative, and an effort to examine how connections between different agents and initiatives, both pan-European and local, might enrich and strengthen the knowledge and co-operation in the Nordic region, as well as improve the conditions for mutual exchange of knowledge and good practice across European borders.
There is a growing interest in the role that art plays in the improvement of health and well-being. On the basis of the pilot study WHO Europe have now gathered and developed a unique insight and guidance in how to implement and adapt art based interventions in different cultural and local contexts, undoubtedly and essential factor when it comes to art and cultural projects.