From September onwards, doctors at the Brugmann Hospital, one of the largest health centers in Brussels, were able to prescribe visits for their patients to the various cultural institutions run by the city.
Those with a recipe for free admission will be able to stroll along the ancient underground paths at the Sewer Museum, peruse 16th-century fabrics at the Museum of Fashion and Lace, or browse exhibits at the Centrale Contemporary Art Center, among others. Five city-run museums are participating in the pilot project, which will last six months. After that, the program can be expanded to include museums operated by the federal government.
“Now is the time to do it,” Delphine Hoppa, the deputy mayor of Brussels who is leading the initiative, told the US website. Politician. “Coronavirus has reminded us that culture is essential for mental health.”
The Botanical Museum in Brussels – Photo: Publicity / Brussels Museums
The one-page recipe was thought to be simple and unobtrusive. “People will not have proof or anything special because we don’t want to stigmatize them or feel different,” the deputy mayor told the British Attaché on Sunday. observer.
“The arts help all humans forget that we are human beings,” Vincent Lustiger, a psychiatrist at Brugmann University Hospital, defended on Politico. “During the pandemicDeath became something waiting for us at the door. We saw how mental illness spread after that.”
Brussels is not the first city to see such an initiative, although Huba believes it is the first in Europe. In 2018, Quebec gave the green light to a similar program in Montreal. The Canadian province has been working on increasingly critical research showing that connecting to art and stimulating creativity can bring a range of benefits to patients, from mental health to controlling chronic pain and palliative care.
According to a report by World Health Organization As of 2019, an analysis of more than 3,000 studies identified an “important role for the arts in preventing ill health, promoting health, and managing and treating disease” throughout a person’s life.
In the Brussels program, patients will check in with their doctors before and after they leave, Johann Newell, a psychiatrist at Brugmann University Hospital, explained to the Observer. Newell emphasized that museum visits should not be treated as a solution, but rather as a tool in the healing process that must be combined with ongoing care, such as individual or group therapy, and medication, Meditation and other lifestyle modifications.
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