Arts Health News

Posted: May 8 2017 - 12:00pm

Two years ago, Sandi Treliving was having dinner at an art gallery when one of the guests had an unexpected emotional breakdown prompted by a conversation about mental health. “He was very upfront with the others,” says Treliving. “We talked and hugged it out.”

Biannually, contemporary galleries from across the city come together to host intimate dinner parties in support of mental health and CAMH. The upcoming fundraising event is dubbed UnMasked, and invites guests to gather around table, surrounded by beautiful art work, while one of the country’s best chefs prepare dinner. (Since galleries don’t tend to have kitchens, the cooking usually takes place in parking lots and side alleys.)

The structure of the event provides a safe and welcome environment for sensitive conversations to take place, says Claudia Fieder, who serves as this year’s event’s co-chair along with Treliving. “It takes a mask off the illness.” Hosting them in art galleries helps when discussing emotions and feelings in a unique way.

“Art is expression and moody and comfortable,” Fieder says. “Looking at something beautiful is subjective, and that gives way to understanding other people’s inner states.”


Posted: May 7 2017 - 12:54am

Runway 204 is described as a "New York Fashion Week comes to Winnipeg" type by Annica Ramkissoon, SOGHF’s marketing and development officer. The event brings fashion, art, culture, music and philanthropy together while connecting the community with the mental health services Seven Oaks General Hospital provides in its mental health unit.

Mental health is a prevalent issue in all demographics, but one that a lot of younger professionals can relate to — many workplaces have health and wellness programs that promote mental wellness.

SOGH has been one of the leaders in disease prevention in the province with the Wellness Institute and the Chronic Disease Innovation Centre, seeking to help patients stay healthy and out of the hospital. Runway 204 is its second biggest fundraiser supporting mental health programming initiatives such as art and music therapy.


Posted: May 2 2017 - 10:00am

There was dancing to the Jailhouse Rock when a community choir formed in a prison in Northern Ireland was named overall winner of annual awards for therapists and health scientists.

Organisers, supporters and past members of the Voice of Release choir burst into an impromptu chorus of Elvis Presley’s hit in celebration of their success at the 2017 Advancing Healthcare Awards, held at Chelsea Harbour in London.

The awards, for which the Guardian was media partner, aim to highlight the achievements around the UK of allied health professionals and others who work with them outside the medical and nursing professions.


Posted: Apr 20 2017 - 4:49am

Knitting, crocheting and jam-making have never been associated with great thrills – but, it turns out, they work wonders for wellbeing.

A study has found that people who participate in arts and crafts feel happier, calmer and more energetic the next day.

The activities which the researchers listed also included cooking, baking, performing music, painting, drawing, sketching, digital design and creative writing.



Posted: Apr 17 2017 - 4:49am

Patients recovering from back surgery often struggle with pain and anxiety, but new research shows that music therapy may help ease their discomfort.

Medication is commonly used to manage pain for people who've had surgery to treat a spinal problem.

For the new study, researchers from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City provided 30 patients who'd had spinal fusion surgery with a 30-minute music therapy session within 72 hours of their operation. The therapy included singing, rhythmic drumming and live music. It helped patients relax and eased their tension, the researchers said, adding that the therapy was used in combination with standard care.

Another group of 30 spine surgery patients received only standard care after their procedure and didn't receive music therapy.

All of the patients in the study were between 40 and 55 years old.

"This study is unique in its quest to integrate music therapy in medicine to treat post-surgical pain," lead author John Mondanaro, clinical director of The Louis Armstrong Department of Music Therapy, said in a Mount Sinai news release.