Istanbul (TR), 21 September 2011
The joint meeting of the ‘Social Policy and Public Health’ and ‘Culture, Education, Youth and International Cooperation’ Committees of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) led yesterday a new initiative by gathering the members of its. They jointly organized a conference on ‘Culture and Health’ in Istanbul (TR) that started off with the following diagnosis: scientific studies show that culture has an impact on well-being, reduces stress, protects and nourishes the brain, limits degeneration and helps tackle disease. In short, it is now proven that culture has enormous benefits for health.
During this day, 10 professors and experts presented examples of cultural projects that centre around supporting ill people. Through music, dance, art and reading we can help people who are suffering. In all the cases that were presented, culture was a ‘medicine’ for citizens, irrespective of whether they suffered from a physical or mental illness, or simply old age. A study shown today has actually estimated that 25% of sick people could lead longer and healthier lives thanks to the increased use of cultural and artistic tools.
“I am impressed by the wealth of ideas and the creativity that these projects have demonstrated today. As President of the AER Culture Committee, I encourage all our members to develop actions in their regions. There are people out there who are already doing amazing things, we have seen that today; we now need public authorities to step up their support,” stated Dr Hande Özsan Bozatli. Vladimir KOSIC, President of Committee 2 and Minister for Health and Social Protection of Friuli Venezia Giulia (I) added “There can be no culture without health, as there can be no health without culture. The common feature of both culture and health are human relationships, which must be at the heart of our policy concerns.”
“In light of the latest scientific knowledge and convincing evidence presented today, it is our duty to intrinsically link culture and health. They are two key dimensions of our policies, because they are of course essential for our citizens’ well-being but also because they are an indicator of our societies’ health,” concluded Michèle Sabban, AER President.
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