Doctors In Brussels Can Now Prescribe Museum Visits For Mental Health

We know that it’s important to take care of our health and recently, the focus has been drawn to mental health. taking care of our mental health has always played a key role in our overwell wellness, but with the pandemic and lockdown, it’s become more critical than ever.

Many people have had life turned upside down over the past few years due to job losses, lack of childcare, sickness, and more. As a result, many people are focusing on mental health care by taking more time to rest, connect, and destress.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Some studies have found that one way to help boost mental health is by engaging in art and culture in some way. The benefits of art and culture exposure can include lowered feelings of anxiety and depression and even an improvement in critical thinking skills.

It seems that doctors in Brussels, Belgium are taking the research to heart as they can now prescribe museum visits to patients struggling with mental health.

According to The Guardian, the new initiative is part of a pilot program that grants museum visits the status of psychological treatment. Currently, there are four museums and an arts center that are involved in the program.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Guardian reports that psychiatrist Johan Newell explained that the museum visits aren’t an end-all-be-all solution. Instead, they’re an addition to therapy, medication, and lifestyle adjustments. He added, “I think almost anyone could benefit from it.”

Paitents who benefit from the program can enjoy free access to underground paths of the Sewer Museum, galleries of the CENTRALE, and view ancient textiles at the Fashion and Lace Museum, among other things.

The World Health Organization recently conducted a review of over 3,000 studies on how the arts impact health and their findings were staggering. According to the review, the arts may play a major role in the prevention of ill health and the management and treatment of illness. Based on the data, WHO suggests “promoting of arts engagement at the individual, local and national levels.”

Photo: Unsplash/Zalfa Imani

As it turns out, Brussels isn’t the first city to implement museum prescriptions. According to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal in Canada was actually the first city in the world to initiate museum prescriptions back in 2018.

Hopefully more cities begin to implement similar programs! After all, the research speaks for itself and we could all use a little boost in overall mental health and wellness.

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