81st Annual Meeting: June 21-24, 2013 in Las Vegas

ARTS AND HEALING

WHEREAS, according to the 2009 report, Arts in Healthcare by the Global Alliance for Arts & Health, the creative arts in health and wellness demonstrate the positive impact these services have on patient outcomes and healthcare cost savings; and

WHEREAS, creative arts therapies have been used as effective interventions in comprehensive mental health care programs for more than 70 years, using various art forms as a means of communication and expression; and

WHEREAS, the Arts in Healthcare report demonstrates that creative arts in healthcare interventions can contribute to the following positive outcomes when services are integrated into medical treatment and community prevention and wellness programs, including reduced lengths of hospital stays, decreased need for multiple medical visits, reduced levels of depression and stress, decreased need for use of sedatives during medical procedures and decreased use of medical interventions covered by Medicare among the aging; and

WHEREAS, creative arts therapies can help facilitate the purposes of the Mental Health in Schools Act by providing school-based mental health services and support; by providing comprehensive staff development for school and community service personnel working in the school; and by providing training for children with mental health disorders, for parents, siblings, and other family members of such children, and for concerned members of the community; and

WHEREAS, the creative arts therapies offer supportive services to students, families, and personnel within the educational community. Therapists are able to positively impact mental health by utilizing non-threatening arts interventions to address inappropriate social behaviors, improve communication and socialization, provide successful tools to decrease barriers to learning, increase student compliance, and enhance academic performance; and

WHEREAS, treatment outcomes of creative arts therapies include strengthened coping strategies, successful and safe emotional release, increased verbalization, reduced muscle tension, and improved group cohesiveness,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors acknowledges the benefits of incorporating creative arts therapies into all forms of health care as a method to improve the quality and experience of health care delivery and to lower costs; and

BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the federal government to support funding for creative arts in healthcare research priorities within the federal agencies involved with the Arts and Human Development Interagency Task Force, including the National Institutes of Health, Administration on Aging, and the Department of Education; and

BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges Congress to support the Mental Health in Schools Act, S.195, sponsored by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and H.R. 628 sponsored by Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA), which will provide a comprehensive system for education and healthcare providers, such as creative arts therapists, to improve access to mental health services and support for students, families, school personnel, and communities.

Projected Costs: Unknown


RESOLUTION ADOPTED JUNE 2013