'Art is a subtle medication'- artists around the world have believed it for years, and recently the statement got its validation from a group of doctors in Canada who have decided to prescribe trips to an art gallery to patients suffering from mental health issues. The project is taken up by the Francophone Association of Doctors in Canada ( MFdC) in collaboration with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. As per media reports, about 100 doctors have already enrolled for the trial.
The initiative, which is believed to be the first of its kind, will take the patients for a free visit to the museum in order to help them deal with their mental disorders. It is believed to be launched next month, and during the year-long trial, doctors who have signed up for the initiative will prescribe their patients to visits the museum up to 50 times.
As per media reports, Nathalie Bondil, the director of the MMFA, suggested that cultural trips will help to improve mental health conditions in a similar way to exercise. She reportedly said that she is convinced that in the 21st century, art will work the way physical activities, like engaging in sports, contributed to fitness and health did in the 20th century.
Although the treatment focuses on patients with mental health issues, it is believed to help patients with physical health issues as well. They can also get prescribed trips to the museum. Each pass is valid for up to two adults and two minors, meaning patients can take their family and friends with them.
As per media reports, Nicole Parent, the head of the MFdC has stated that his project brings out doctors' sensitivity and openness to alternative approaches. She said that the cultural trips induce the release of feel-good hormones that can help the patients recover from mental disorders like depression, stress, anxiety, etc. To check the success of the project, MFdC will track the patients who are given the museum passes and will analyse if there is any improvement in their conditions. Parent also stated that she hopes other museums across Canada will also follow the lead.