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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Memorandum of Cooperation for Cultural Prescribing between the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Health


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The Undersecretary of Culture and Sports, responsible for of Culture, Nikolas Giatromanolakis and the Deputy Minister of Health, in charge of mental health issues and addictions, Zoe Rapti.
This is a project included by the Ministry of Culture and Sports in the National Recovery Plan "Greece 2.0" funded by the European Recovery Fund, with a total budget of 10 million euros and a horizon of implementation within the next three years.
The program is based on the recognition - now recognized by organizations such as the World Health Organization - that the arts have a beneficial effect on the mental health of people who manage dementia, depression, addiction, mental trauma, etc., and that participating in them brings positive results at the individual and social level.
With the Memorandum of Cooperation, the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Ministry of Health lay the foundations for multilevel cooperation, which is structured in 3 main pillars:
1. the training of cultural workers and mental health professionals on cultural prescribing, the development and institutionalization of practices and the conduct of relevant research projects
2. in the design and implementation of cultural prescribing programs
3. to inform and raise awareness of the general population, mental health organizations, as well as the artistic and cultural institutions for the development of participatory art programs in mental health and to invite them through announcements for the development of such actions
Indicatively, actions and initiatives that are planned to be implemented in the framework of the Memorandum of Cooperation, concern:

- the organization and implementation of complex multidisciplinary actions for mental health providers that will include cultural and educational activities for mental health professionals and recipients, with a view to using art as a tool for prevention, management, treatment and evaluation

- the design and implementation of cultural activities and programs for children and adolescents, as well as their families / carers and professionals active in the fields of education or treatment of children and adolescents, as a means of education, awareness, information and expression on mental health

- the development of programs and actions that utilize different types of art, with the aim of discharging the workload (Burnout) of mental health professionals

- the implementation of training programs and seminars on the use of the arts as a tool for the diagnosis, prevention, management, treatment and evaluation of mental disorders and as a means of improving mental health

- the inclusion of cultural activities as a fixed service in the annual program of the respective mental health institution

- the participation of mental health service recipients in learning and training programs in different types of arts implemented by the Ministry of Culture and Sports

- the development of participatory art and artistic participation programs in everyday life in the field of mental health services, mental health recipients and their families

- the co-planning between cultural and mental health research programs so that there are data and measurable results in Greece

For the implementation of the subject of the Memorandum of Cooperation, the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Working Group is envisaged, consisting of officials of the Contracting Ministries, officials of supervised bodies of the Contracting Ministries, professionals in the field of culture and mental health as well as representatives of legal or private legal entities. active in the field of modern culture and mental health.
During the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation, the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports, in charge of contemporary culture, Nikolas Giatromanolakis, stated:
"With the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministries of Health and Culture and Sports, for the first time in such a formal and specific way in Greece, the state recognizes the beneficial and multifaceted impact of culture on health. The impact of culture on health is not a theoretical discussion but is scientifically documented and is now adopted by the state as another tool to shield the mental health of citizens and their stronger cultural participation. As we upgrade the way we treat mental health in our country, and at the same time we turn more and more our attention to contemporary culture and the importance of contemporary artistic creation, so we approach the development of synergies between these two sectors in order to improve it. quality of life and social cohesion ".
For her part, the Deputy Minister of Health, in charge of mental health and addictions, Zoe Rapti, stated:
"Today we are very pleased to announce the start of our cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Sports, which aims to promote the mental health and well-being of the general population in our country through art, with an emphasis on vulnerable groups such as children, adolescents and the elderly. At this point, I would like to warmly thank the Deputy Minister of Culture Mr. Giatromanolakis, as well as his associates for the fruitful cooperation. The arts and culture have the potential to contribute to the holistic approach to well-being, to the enhancement of the mental health and well-being of our fellow human beings.
According to the World Health Organization, "Health is not simply the absence of disease, but contains the positive element of complete physical, mental and social well-being." For this reason, we placed health in direct connection with culture. The use of the arts in healthcare settings, with specially designed activities, can complement and enhance the methodology and the corresponding treatment protocols. It is known that art as a means of treatment contributes to the protection and treatment of a variety of mental disorders and problems, to the prevention, promotion and restoration of mental health, as well as to the multifaceted development and evolution of people. "With this inter-ministerial cooperation, we are moving forward with the creation of appropriate synergies by exchanging tools and scientific approaches to strengthen existing and developing new, quality mental health services in the Community."

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