European Parliament: How art & humour can increase the resilience of people in crisis

15.December 2022

On December 8th the European Parliament invited RED NOSES to the event “Raising Citizens’ Awareness on the Importance of Culture in Europe” organized by Members of European Parliament Alexis Georgoulis & Niyazi Kizilyurek.

Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner For Health and Food Safety, stated during the conference that "Culture is vital for our mental health". RED NOSES couldn’t agree more therefore we have  it our mission to bring culture and humour to places where wellbeing and mental health are most affected.

The first panel on Culture, Health and Wellbeing was initiated by Kornelia Kiss from Culture Action Europe who presented the results of the “CultureForHealth” report that was published one month ago.

Subsequently, Dr. Zuzana Kocábová, Ph.D. and Head of the Department of Clinical Psychology at Motol University Hospital in Czech Republic presented a concrete example of scientific study on positive effects of Healthcare Clown Interventions, implemented by the organisation Zdravotní Klaun, on Children undergoing surgery.

Natalie Porias ,Managing Director of RED NOSES International, closed this panel by sharing the  vision of how arts can contribute to health and wellbeing: "Art defies the status quo, can exist despite contradictions, can and should exists in places of crisis and hardship, it should exist in the most unexpected areas of our life. Art and especially humour can give us these moments of relief, sharing a heartfelt laughter with another human rekindles the sparkle of hope. Art goes beyond the mere medical treatment or survival. It makes us human.  

... We need to ensure that people have access to arts and culture. It should not be a mere privilege whether a child has access to empowering arts during their stay in the hospital, whether a senior citizen is offered new ways to feel connected through the visit of a clown or an artistic intervention, art should be part of the systems and structures."

At this point we would like once again to say thank you to both MEP Alexis Georgoulis and The Left in the European Parliament for inviting us to speak at their event and be part of the constructive exchange of ideas on the importance of culture on Mental Health, Health and Wellbeing. Let’s continue the dialogue to increasingly recognise the benefits of artistic approaches and have them reflected in cross-sectoral policies and important initiatives such as the European Mental Health Strategy 2023.

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