Exposure to the arts has a profoundly beneficial impact, improving patient health and wellbeing and through its use in health promotion and messaging, improved health literacy for individuals and the wider community.
Our arts and cultural program promotes well-being and a sense of place through the integration of arts, culture and heritage elements into the new healthcare facilities and public spaces at Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals.
The program was developed and created with staff, patients, visitors and local community members in partnership with some of Australia's best known local and international artists including Leanne Tobin, Jane Reiseger, Robyn Caughlan, Tam Cao, photographer Steve Parish, Alex Sanson and organisations including the Blacktown Arts Centre, Blacktown Council, Blacktown RSL Club and The Royal Botanic Gardens and Centennial Park Trust.
Stage 1 delivered more than 20 new works for Blacktown Hosptial and Mount Druitt Hospital, including a major suspended sculpture and a 100-metre mosaic seat covered with 100,000 tiles in patterns created by our local community.
Our Stage 2 project is called Kaleidoscope and will deliver a range of works including gardens, terraces, sculpture and textile works, and new photographic works through our BMDH Photo Competition.
The use of the arts to improve the health of individuals or communities, as well as health facility design, has a long history both here and internationally, but has become increasingly important in recent years.
A growing body of peer-reviewed evidence confirms significant and measurable benefits from the integration of health and the arts.
We now know the use of the arts in health has positive impacts on medication dependence, hospital length of stay and treatment stress.
The arts have also been shown to improve patient tolerance of symptoms and treatment, self efficacy, social inclusion, perceptions of care quality, and communication between patients and health professionals.
Experiencing, making and performing art is just as important, helping to bring people together in a way that fosters social inclusion, community participation, and intergenerational and cultural exchange.
These outcomes are particularly important for priority populations such as Aboriginal people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, young people, older people and people with disability.
Staff also benefit with improvements in health professionals’ communication skills, work-related stress, efficiency and workforce retention.
The research also suggests that a focus on forming sustainable, innovative and agile partnerships between health services and arts organisations and/or artists delivers better outcomes for patients, carers, staff and health services, and strengthens relationships with the broader community.
A summary of the evidence, as well as a synthesis of known implementation factors for health and arts initiatives can be found on the Health and The Arts Exchange.
Source: NSW Health and The Arts Framework
Our fundraising team works with communities, individuals and government organisations to provide the little extras that make hospital stay more comfortable for patients and families. BMDH Fundraising and Events would love to talk to you about how you can be a donor or partner. To contact us, email WSLHD-BMDHProject@health.nsw.gov.au
As a medical specialist… I was constantly confronted with the impact of the physical, emotional and cultural environment on the health both physical and mental of the individual. The provision of music and art within a beautiful physical environment had a powerful effect on reaching and healing many children, young people and their families.
Professor Marie Bashir, former Governor of NSW
Stage 2 arts projects will bring life to the hospital and the hospital to life.
"Not just a work of art - a work of community." Our art and culture program 2012 - 2016 has been captured in a commemorative book.