Creative Health (Arts and Health) CIC is an independent Community Interest Company working with health and wellbeing partners to plan, commission, produce and evaluate arts and health projects. This course involves the regular participation and contribution of numerous community partners (including local, national, and international arts organisations), leading mental health professionals, and applied theatre scholars and practitioners, representative of both of the MSc’s core fields.
Combining critical mental health sciences and research methods with a rigorous study of the history, theory, and practice of performance with and about mental illness, the MSc includes modules both separately and jointly taught across its two core fields, in order to ensure students receive rigorous training in best practices in each field, as well as plenty of opportunity to think, work, read, write, and make performance that reaches across both fields.
Despite strong historical beginnings in veterans’ hospitals during World War II, having previous research funded through grant awards from the Department of Health and Human Services, and having inclusion in federal programs such as the Older Americans Act, arts in health is still under-funded and under-researched.
It is as Eisner (1981) suggests, a question of seeing with the mutual benefits the arts and interdisciplinarity provide: It is to the artistic to which we must turn, not as a rejection of the scientific, but because with both we can achieve binocular vision.
In another study, supportive care providers responding to a survey described the healing benefits of music and art therapy in hospital settings, and these benefits seemed to be clustered around notions of exploration, expression, release, and the healing process.