He explained that art was beneficial for health, however it was important to present a case for it scientifically, to showcase that in the long term it could be cost effective to promote art as a tool for wellbeing. In other words, demonstrate to the Local Authorities and the Clinical Commissioning Groups, the potentiality of a return on investments, in order to secure financial support for arts for health.
He presented the case for the arts by giving examples from dancing, singing, magic tricks as occupational therapy to going to the library, with reading being associated with a higher self purpose.
In all, he concluded that the arts as a tool for health can be cost effective for society.
He ended his presentation by quoting Stephen King: " Life isn't a support system for art. It's the other way round."
By arts, she explained that, she meant 'arts' that we do in our leisure time, in other words, listening to music, watching a film, joining leisure groups and so on. As Parry expressed, art and engaging in art can help with confidence, anxiety, isolation, making friends, and many other benefits too, it being "the medicine to the soul".
She concluded that art professionals could be useful to the NHS and art is a good tool for wellbeing however, art has not been presented the right way, it should be seen in a serious light, and for that, it needs to present economic and evidence data for it to be taken into consideration for financial support.
As Brady was about to commence, projected onto the screen was the inspiring quote of "Make Windows Where There Are Walls", a sentence from her poem she wrote when she had tried to take her own life.
A powerful talk, she explained that she felt that art could help a person recover from mental health issues, but that she was not sure if a person could ever fully recover. That it was a day to day process and that art helped with that timeline, it being a "facilitator to recovery". However, she stated that on the other side, her chosen profession has given her, on occasion, anxiety and made her put pressure on herself for achievement. Regardless of those occasional downsides, Brady said that being creative was "a release", that "when working, all bad things go away" and that she has "self pride in making art."
He opened up about his time spent in health wards and how he found it difficult. He therefore designed with Hannah Hull "Madlove Designer Asylum". A version of what a mental health care should 'look like', 'feel like', 'taste like'. The Vacuum Cleaner wondered how "his utopian mental hospital" could "become reality".
His Madlove project has openly discussed mental health, engaged communities and showcased ways that could help understand mental health and change health wards. He also stated that he would like for the next steps to be about listening more to those who have mental health issues and take the knowledge of mental health that they possess as a framework.
An interesting, important and meaningful evening with engaging talks by all panelists, showcasing art as a tool for wellbeing in a person's life and the potentiality of art to be used more as a tool for wellbeing for health in the NHS and in society.