Focus On: Health & Wellbeing
Each month we’re taking a look at one of the ten priority areas of the strategy for Scotland’s museums and galleries.
Warm spaces and winter blues: with the days getting shorter, it’s a good time of year to think about the health and wellbeing priorities of the strategy.
This newsletter highlights resources which will help you and your museum or gallery make progress in this area.
What is the health & wellbeing priority area?
Museums and galleries will improve quality of life through programmes which have a positive impact on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of people in Scotland.
There’s already lots of great work happening in this area. Museums and galleries are holding reminiscence sessions for people with dementia, creating mindfulness tours, encouraging physical exercise, and tackling social isolation in their communities.
Find out how your museum or gallery can achieve the health and wellbeing aims of the strategy by exploring the resources, events, and information below.
In 2020, we published a literature review and report on the impact that museums have on health and wellbeing.
It highlights research such as Art Fund’s Calm and Collected report – which found that 63% of UK adults have visited museums or galleries to deal with stress and anxiety – and a 2018 study on social prescribing, which concluded that museum programming can be instrumental in improving the psychological wellbeing of older adults.
Health & wellbeing resources
This page includes new case studies on the community impact of wellbeing events at V&A Dundee and the mental health benefits of the THRIVE volunteering project at Abbotsford.
The Museums Association website features lots of great case studies on health and wellbeing.
This group, which is open to cultural organisations from across Scotland, seeks to tackle social inequality through access to culture.
This network shares case studies, news, and articles from across the UK.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has shared this article on how museums can use their projects to promote five different aspects of wellbeing: connection, fitness, mindfulness, learning, and giving back.
Social prescribing is the practice of being referred to a range of non-clinical services by a health professional. These services can include events and activities at museums and galleries.
Social prescribing is increasingly valued in holistic approaches to health and wellbeing. It can help museums to unlock new partnerships with healthcare providers, demonstrate their community impact, and contribute towards public health objectives.
You can find out more by visiting the Scottish Social Prescribing Network website and reading this social prescribing case study from the University of Edinburgh Museums.
Health & wellbeing at your museum or gallery
Maximise the impact of your health and wellbeing work by considering these questions below.
Linking up with charities, community groups, and NHS services can lead to mutually beneficial opportunities for engagement, education, and exhibitions.
Community gardens, play areas, and outdoor interactives can all improve the mental and physical health of your visitors.
The health and wellbeing aims of Scotland’s museums and galleries strategy are reflected in our grants outcomes and expectations.
Funding applications must address one or more of our grants outcomes depending on the requirements of the fund. Projects may include a commitment to develop health and wellbeing programming.
Find out more
Our next edition will take a look at the diversity priority area of the strategy. If you have any resources, case studies, or questions relating to the health and wellbeing or diversity priority areas, please get in touch.