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Arts engagement and mental health

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Arts engagement and mental health

What do you take delight in?

Is it learning about past societies in cultures? Or maybe debating philosophy with a group of like-minded friends? Perhaps losing yourself in a beautiful piece of music is more your thing? Or coming up with a beautiful turn of phrase?

Now stop and reflect for one moment: have you ever used this enjoyment to counter the effects of a bad day, or ward off a bad mood?

One in five (20%) Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year, according to the Black Dog Institute. And one in seven Australians will experience depression in their lifetime (1).

A 2016 Australian study found that people averaging at least two hours arts engagement per week over a year had significantly better mental wellbeing than those with lower levels of engagement (2).

Enjoying the arts makes people feel connected and included, relives boredom and reveals tantalising opportunities for personal growth. While the arts isn’t necessarily a cure for bad mental health, it can be an outlet when times are tough.

CCE’s arts and humanities courses are currently delivered online, in an interactive format. Meaning you can still interact with fellow course attendees and discuss your passion from the safety of your own home.

The world may have stopped but indulging your passions doesn’t have to. Browse our course catalogue for a range of courses on different topics for you to take delight in.

(1) Black Dog Institute (2020) Facts & figures about mental health, https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/1-facts_figures.pdf

(2) Davies, C., Kniuman, M. and M. Rosenberg (2016) The art of being mentally healthy: a study to quantify the relationship between recreational arts engagement and mental well-being in the general population in BMC Public Health http://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-015-2672-7

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