In Ukraine, artists will be involved in projects for the psychological rehabilitation of Ukrainians

Events Art

Today, June 19, Acting Minister of Culture and Information Policy Rostyslav Karandieiev met with Christopher Bailey, Head of the “Arts and Health” department at the World Health Organization. The discussion focused on the role of culture in finding new methods to overcome the consequences of experienced traumatic events, which is extremely relevant for Ukrainian society in the context of war.

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“Today in Ukraine, we are paying a lot of attention to mental health issues. These processes occur at the intersection of various fields. During the war, we felt a great need for artistic practices to contribute to solving problems related to mental health, and art plays a significant role here. This concerns our veterans, people who have lost loved ones, and all citizens in general,” said Acting Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, Rostyslav Karandieiev.

The Acting Minister also spoke about First Lady Olena Zelenska’s initiative to develop and implement the national mental health program “How Are You?” in Ukraine. Additionally, he mentioned flagship projects of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, including “Art of Helping,” and the Ministry’s 2024 priority “Libraries as Spaces for Psychosocial Support”, which aims to involve libraries in forming a network for providing initial psychological assistance to Ukrainians. The Head of the Ministry also expressed readiness to collaborate on creating art projects involving people with disabilities.

“The social component is very important in recovering from transgenerational trauma. These are challenges faced by many countries, and a lot of artistic initiatives need to be directed towards recovery,” emphasized Christopher Bailey. “Art projects can be effectively integrated into the healthcare system by creating a network. A worker in this network will consult with the family doctor, as the family doctor typically has only 14 minutes per patient on average, which leaves no time for discussions about art”.

Christopher Bailey is the founder of the Healing Arts Initiative, which researches the impact of art on health and brings together scientists from around the world. In Ukraine, Christopher has several meetings regarding the implementation of state policies on trauma awareness and the overall potential for rehabilitation and reintegration through artistic practices.

It should be noted that the WHO program “Arts and Health” helps member states analyze the evidence and enhance health policies with knowledge about using art to improve health. Meanwhile, the Jameel Arts and Health Lab serves as a tool to support and promote this evidence base.

The lab, co-founded by Christopher Bailey, was launched in January 2023 by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, NYU Steinhardt School, the Jameel community, and CultuRunners. It is a network of research organizations and practitioners from around the world, united to identify and measure effective methods of using art to significantly improve public health globally, with a particular focus on vulnerable communities.

On June 22, Christopher Bailey will perform his solo piece “Strangers in Time” at the Maria Zankovetska National Drama Theatre in Lviv. The performance combines personal family history, current events, neurology, and aesthetics. It is a unique exploration of trauma passed down through generations and how art helps heal wounds and transform communities.

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