From grass-roots activities to national policies – the state of arts and health in Finland

The recognition of the connection between arts, health and well-being has been growing during the recent two decades in Finland. The arts and health field has evolved from grass-roots activities to more systematic approaches of integrating arts and culture as part of social welfare and healthcare services and health promotion.

This paper provides an overview of the current state of the arts and health field in Finland, through an examination of policy developments, practice, research and education.

The arts and health field has been gaining strength and institutionalizing in Finland since the beginning of the 1990s. During the 2010s, the field has gained momentum from national policy programmes and strategical cross-sectoral collaboration on the ministerial level.

The article explores also the prospects of arts and health field in Finland. Both possibilities for success and some of the challenges hindering the development of the field are discussed.


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