Arts + Mental Conference

October 6 2021, 1 – 5pm EDT

Mississauga Arts Council in partnership with Mass Culture presented the Arts for Mental Health Conference, bringing together thought leaders from the arts and medical fields to map a way forward for the integration of the arts into mental health practices.

A4MH Full Conference Video
A4MH Conference Highlights
A4MH Doctor Focus Group

Why ArtsCare?

In March 2017, Nanos Research released their findings from a random telephone survey of over 1000 adult Ontarians on the relationship they have with arts and culture and how it affects their quality of life. Highlights from this research are presented here to show the astounding results of how valuable the arts are to Ontarians, and that the arts make a significant impact to improve mental health and well-being for themselves, their children, and their communities.

In July 2017, the British All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts Health and Well-Being released, Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing. This report demonstrates the powerful effects creative experiences have on medical patients, and how arts of all kinds can be used as not only a treatment option for physical illness, but also mental illness. The arts, arts therapy, and creative experiences are an incredibly viable resource in health care.

Art of Wellness

A Documentary by Susan Ksiezopolski

Sponsored by Mississauga Arts Council and Bell

“In the midst of such despair in Peel Region during this pandemic, it is inspiring to witness and share with you this new short documentary, exploring local arts programs, that are standing by, ready right now to serve the people who need them most, when the quarantine is finally lifted,” says Susan Ksiezopolski, producer of Art of Wellness – Creative Path to Mental Health.

This Art of Wellness documentary spotlights the important role of the arts and the positive impact that participating in arts-based programming has on our well-being, supporting people with high stress, anxiety, and depression Facing grief at the loss of your loved one, or managing your way through life’s challenges and traumas, can be greatly helped by expressing yourself through the arts. Featured in the Art of Wellness short documentary, are a few organizations that offer arts-based programs supporting mental wellness.

About the Arts for Mental Health Conference

The Mississauga Arts Council in partnership with Mass Culture present our virtual Arts for Mental Health Conference on October 6, 2021. This timely conference will bring together artists, medical practitioners, and policy makers to demonstrate the impact and benefits the arts have on the mental well-being of individuals. Highlighting the successful research of programs in Britain, Australia, and Denmark, we aim to provide evidence-based research to conference attendees that would lead to a pilot arts for mental health program in the Peel region.

Arts for Mental Health Resources

Mississauga Arts Council looked into the remarkable economic contributions of the arts (Hill Strategies and others), we were inspired by the enormous popular support for the arts in Ontario, as evidenced in an Ipsos-Reid survey conducted for the Ontario government in 2017.

We turned to other countries, Denmark for its back to work enabling program using arts experiences and especially we made note of the Creative Inquiry Report to Britain’s Parliament in July 2017. The startling healthcare benefits cited, guided our approach to our Arts for Mental Health Conference.

Arts for Health News

Chicago WGN: Painting a new path to Covid recovery

Chicago pulmonary and critical care specialist who cares for the sickest of Covid patients uses art to process their pandemic experience.

WSJ Magazine: Is Looking at Art a Path to Mental Well-Being?

Though making art has long been regarded as a form of therapy through self-expression, recently the passive participation is now being assessed as a different way of improving mental health.

Toronto Star: Practising the art of healing

AGO creates virtual “Close looking” program to help prevent burnout in palliative care physicians.

Want to know more?

Contact us to learn more about the conference and how you can get involved. This is the start of a movement to bring the arts and health sectors together, and we look forward to your participation.