According to a Belgian newspaper, research has shown that art can have a positive effect on health. Patients with stress in Brussels might be ordered by doctors to visit museums as part of a pilot project lasting three months. It is based on a similar program in Canada.
According to an article in the Belgian newspaper L'Echo, Delpine Houba is the city's head for culture and tourism. The project was developed in partnership with the Brugmann Hospital, Brussels. According to the newspaper, doctors at the Brugmann can make museum visits to patients. The stress clinic at the hospital will also organize collective visits for patients receiving therapeutic treatment.
Houba explained L’Echo that the five participating museums are the Brussels City Museum and Fashion and Lace Museum, and the Sewer Museum. Houba stated that mental health treatments are especially relevant in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. She also said that the project will be evaluated by the end 2021 and, if successful, extended to other Belgian museums that are willing to collaborate.
Credit: Twitter (@DelphineHouba)
Houba stated that she was inspired to start this idea by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. According to the museum's website, participating doctors can now prescribe up to 50 museum visits per year to their patients. This provides "a safe, welcoming space, a relaxing and revitalizing experience; a moment to strengthen ties with loved one," Houba said.
The MMFA (Montreal Museum of Fine Art) is a "research laboratory for measuring art's impact on health" and has extended its project to provide digital museum access to health professionals working in the fight against pandemics.
Melanie Deveault is the director of education at the MMFA. She said, "After an overwhelming year for all healthcare professionals, it was important to offer a little art or beauty to those who have contributed towards the well-being and who need a chance of taking their breath,"