Using the arts to promote healing isn’t a novel idea, but the research and acceptance of it are newer. A growing number of health care systems, including Samaritan, are incorporating arts activities with traditional medical care to engage patients and foster healing.
Samaritan’s program, called ArtsCare, uses local professional artists who receive special training related to health care. The artists work with patients, employees and community members using various art forms including textiles, drawing, music and creative writing. The program reflects the mind-body connection and is rooted in the idea that creative expression promotes healing and mental well-being.
Part of the reason the arts help heal is by enabling the patient to focus using both mind and body. The type of media used for each patient will vary, depending on the goals. For example, if the patient has anxiety and tension, the artist might suggest watercolor, which is more free flowing.
Although more limited in scope, ArtsCare has continued during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is supported in part through donations to the ArtsCare fund at Samaritan Foundations.
Learn more about ArtsCare at samhealth.org/ArtsInHealth.