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In 2023 Good Arts, Good Mental Health’s 5-day Arts Challenge was a pre-campaign that incorporated knowledge the project had developed and tested during the previous year.

The arts challenge was launched during October, for Western Australia’s observance of Mental Health Week, and focused on music, colouring, photography, origami, and reading.

A community survey was launched after the event of 906 West Australians who were asked if they had seen or heard any health messaging surrounding arts for good mental health. 16% said they had, with 11% mentioning the Good Arts, Good Mental Health Project specifically. This pre campaign appeared to have a small but significant effect as in the previous year only 4% had seen/heard a arts-mental health message.


“Arts activities that people may like to try include going to concerts, book clubs, art classes, dancing, choirs, photography, listening to music or even colouring in together,” Dr. Davies said.

“People don’t have to be good at art for the arts to be good for them – it’s about having a go and taking part in the arts activities that make you feel good.”

Strong evidence has arisen that engaging with artistic or creative exploits has a positive impact on the mental wellbeing of individuals. As important as sports and exercise are for body and mental health, arts are the yin factor – providing emotional, mental, and physical benefits to the body.

Many may find themselves stuck in the belief that you have to first be good at art – whether that is drawing, painting, or the like. But whether it’s singing along to the radio on your commute to work, pinot and painting with friends, colouring in with family members, or reading a book in Hyde Park – these small acts are not only artistic, but they fall in line with acts of self-love and self-care.

Over the past 12 months, the Good Arts, Good Mental Health team have worked with more than 2,500 community members on research confirming that people are keen to learn more about the mental wellbeing benefits of recreational arts.

“Arts engagement is linked with better mental wellbeing and connection to others. The arts provide an endless source of fun and entertainment that increases our social network and creates positive shared experiences with friends and family,” Dr. Davies said.

On 20 March, we celebrate International Day of Happiness which coincides with the Autumn Equinox. This means that day and night are of equal length, and will allow individuals to pack as much artistic expression into the day as possible – reflecting happiness and balance in themselves, and their world.

For more information about the Good Arts, Good Mental Health Project being conducted at the University of Western Australia – or to find out how you can be involved with further research, data, and engagement – check out their website here.

Last Updated on Mar 20, 2024

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