Art Museum Prescription
Chronic illnesses are epidemic in many parts of the world and they have been highly resistant to conventional medical treatment. Mental illnesses have gone largely unaddressed in physicians’ clinics and hospitals. Physicians in Montreal, however, plan to add something new to their arsenal… art museum prescriptions.
Laughter may be the best medicine but culture works wonders for health as well. That’s the thinking driving a new initiative in Montreal, Canada, where doctors will be able to prescribe free art museum visits to patients with a range of ailments, from depression to diabetes to chronic illnesses.
“In the 21st century, culture will be what physical activity was for health in the 20th century,” predicts Nathalie Bondil, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts director general, in the Montreal Gazette. The innovative institution is already focused on art and wellness. It created The Art Hive, a community studio supervised by an art therapist where visitors can create themselves, and programming that promotes well-being through art, as well as research collaborations with physicians on the health benefits of museum visits, and a medical consultation room.
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