I've been thinking recently about how healthcare and 'the arts' can be encouraged to feed more symbiotyically.
There has been a strong push recently in the UK to encourage performing and visual arts to engage more broadly with the themes of care, the body, medical ethics and mental health.
Part of this has come through the breakdown of the traditional models of funding (National, Regional, Local Council) and a reliance on charitable funding models (Lottery funding, Arts Council, Creative Europe) as well as individual foundations. One of these, The Wellcome Trust (https://wellcome.ac.uk/funding) funds areas of the arts that reach into public engagement and arts fields as ways of improving health.
I wondered if there was an opportunity for Edgeryders to develop a grant that brought together the OpenCare strand with those of us on the cultural side (not that we're really that separate) as a way of developing something (perhaps a offline public engagement project) that can feed into the strands being developed around mental health improvement.
There are certainly studies that show that engagement with the arts have a sustained and positive benefit on all aspects of mental health, and i've also seen brilliant theatre work that works across a variety of disciplines.
There are a few platforms out there that allow us to engage with similarly interested parties in the field.
http://thesickofthefringe.com/ - provides a platform for finding new work that supports companies developing and showcase work in this area. I'm in Edinburgh during the festivals this summer, so i would be able to start a dialogue with them and see if they were interested in encouraging people to feed into an ER project.
It's all flimsy thought stuff at the moment, but i thought i'd share.