A UK study of adult mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic has found that more than a fifth of a 70,000-person sample engaged more with the arts during lockdown than before. Researchers have also found that Google searches for prayer reached their highest ever levels at this time, with many finding meaning through psychology and philosophy.
Statistics like these throw up interesting questions for cultural institutions (but also for places of worship) as they reopen. How can we channel private interests through creative public engagement? How can we renew or reinvent the social role of arts organizations as special places of gathering for people to develop and nurture themselves?
This is an excerpt from the article Art therapy: This is how the arts can sharpen mental health research by Ken Arnold and Danielle Olsen.
This article is a part of a special series on the connection between inner well-being and social change, in partnership with The Wellbeing Project, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Schwab Foundation at the World Economic Forum, and Skoll Foundation.