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Arts in Health and Social Care

Singapore General Hospital

Arts for Health Programme (est. 1998) at the Singapore General Hospital is the earliest art in hospital initiative in Singapore. The programme worked with art organisations, artists and volunteers to develop art activities for patients, visitors and staff. Activities include: regular music, theatre and dance performances (Arts Concerts); regular art workshops and collaborative were organized by artists, volunteers and art therapists to create works for display around the hospital (Arts Expressions). Art Expressions also helped create awareness for patient support groups and for patients to celebrate their quest in coping with their illness. SGH was also the first hospital to host the annual Singapore Arts Festival (circa 2005), supporting its month-long fringe events in the hospital (ArtsFest@SGH). Arts For Health also supported development of the Music and Creative Therapy unit, which continues to offer a range of music therapy for rehabilitation, development for hearing impaired children at the hospital.

Ng Teng Fong General Hospital

Arts and Health recognises that art helps to create a caring, relaxing and engaging
environment for patients, their families and staff. Their Arts & Health programme (est. 2014 ) aims to bring creativity into different care and community settings for therapeutic, educational, and expressive purposes. Programmes such as visual arts, performing arts, art and music therapies reduce stress, increase social engagement and offer outlets for patients and caregivers to express themselves and improve their emotional and mental recovery. They organised an annual Arts and health Festival to showcase the projects from the programme. They welcome creative and artistic individuals, groups and schools to perform in our hospitals and interact with their patients through our Music-on-the-Move and Art-on-the-Move programmes.

National University Hospital 

Project DreamCatcher is part of the adolescent chronic illness peer group programme developed by the Department of Paediatrics at the National University Hospital to support youth living with chronic illnesses such as congenital conditions like spina bifida, heart conditions, end-stage renal failure, rare genetic conditions and diabetes. Since its inception in 2011, the annual project, steered by a small team of staff from Medical Social work, Therapy Service and the Children’s Kidney Centre has engaged arts professionals in visual art and performing arts to work with the youths. The six months long programme cumulates to a public art exhibition to raise awareness on childhood chronic illnesses, and more importantly to convey that childhood chronic illnesses are not disabling and to inspire other youths in the community. The project has partnered with the Singapore Art Museum and the Goodman Art Centre

Tan Tock Seng Hospital 

Art of Healing Programme in Tan Tock Seng Hospital was launched in 2006 as an initiative to use the arts as a form of therapy for the patients and support them in their recovery process. The aim was to transform the traditionally sterile hospital environment to a warm, welcoming place of healing. By integrating arts into the hospital premises and care practices through art displays, arts exhibitions and performances, it hopes to enliven patient’s experience and promote a sense of wellbeing. 

KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital

KKheART Programme is an art support group was started in 2009 by the Department of Psychological Medicine in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital for individuals affected by cancer who are receiving treatment at the hospital. Since then, the group has organised many activities and events, including art exhibitions, community arts projects and decorating the wards with patient’s works. The art sessions are held twice a month and patients can join in to enjoy a wide range of art activities. Through this process, the hospital hopes to provide a supportive and safe environment for the patients to enjoy and benefit from the therapeutic process of art-making. 

Khoo Teck Phuat Hospital 

HEaling ARTS (HEARTS) programme was inducted in May 2006 at Alexandra Hospital to provide cultural enrichment and cognitive stimulations for Geriatric patients through Chinese brush painting sessions; looking at art in the form of intervention that would contribute to the promotion of good mental health. Subsequently, HEARTS expanded their range of programme by adding on Music Therapy and drama therapy in Dementia and Palliative Service, Artwards- art session in Rehab wards, Library on Wheels, arts exhibition and performances, Pet-Assisted Therapy for Dementia care.

Alexandra Hospital

Alex H.E.A.L, the acronym for “Help. Engage. Assist Lives”, is a patient and family engagement programme by Alexandra Hospital. As part of the programme, the hospital invites volunteers and members of the music and arts community to the hospital to bring arts to patients through performances. 

Singapore Association for Mental Health

SAMH Creative MINDSET Hub offers a range of services integrating expressive arts through various art media such as visual arts, writing, music and dance. The integrated model, which was previously known as Creative Hub (est. 2011), is open to the public and provides various activities such as creative therapeutic interventions, individual art therapy and counselling with creative approaches. The aim of this initiative is to encourage awareness, relieve stress and improve individual quality of life through creative expressions and exploration. Additionally, they are also actively outreaching to schools and workplaces to conduct talks and experiential workshops to share the holistic benefits of creative therapeutic interventions and sports in improving mental wellness. 

Alzheimer’s Disease Association

Arts & Dementia Programme (since 2013), with the support from National Arts Council (NAC), the Alzheimer’s Disease Association has been offering a series of community-based arts programmes to provide a safe public space for persons living with dementia and their caretakers from New Horizon Centres and the Family of Wisdom Centres. The Arts & Dementia Programme aims to meaningfully engage its beneficiaries and allow them to use arts as a non-pharmacological approach to dementia care. In 2019, ADA released a report to highlight the impact of the programme and promote the usefulness of arts-based programmes for persons with dementia, caregivers and society (ADA, 2019). 

TOUCH Community Services

TOUCH Centre for Independent Living is a day activity centre that seeks to provide competency-based training programmes for adults with mild intellectual disabilities. Enrichment programmes involving visual arts were delivered to improve an individual’s quality of life and empower them through learning skills that could potentially help to gain financial independence in the community. TOUCH SpecialCrafts is a programme within the centre to hone the artistic skills and showcase their works through direct sales, auction and charity fairs. 

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