Can creative arts projects help people deal with trauma from personal or group conflict?
The role of creative activities and projects to help people recover from trauma associated with personal or group conflict was a strong theme of the 2023 Creative Brain Week at Trinity College Dublin in March. Various speakers presented powerful examples of how being involved in creative activities can improve physical and psychological health while building valuable social connections. Speakers included Christopher Bailey, co-lead of the Jameel Arts & Health Lab, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) first ever arts and health laboratory, and Nils Fietje, WHO regional office in Copenhagen, both of whom highlighted how creative projects can be undervalued in medicine and emphasised the deficit of measuring the value of artistic interventions on health. Launched in New York in February 2023, the Jameel Arts & Health lab aims to remedy this by amplifying scientific research into how the arts can improve health and wellbeing.