About Artlift

Arts On Prescription

About Artlift

The underlying principle of Artlift, supported by a growing national and international evidence base, is that group participatory art sessions increase a feeling of wellbeing, confidence and relaxation and can reduce or alleviate symptoms associated with common physical and mental health conditions.

This reduction of symptoms and increase of wellbeing enables patients to re-engage with their everyday lives, encourages self – management of long term conditions and reduces costs for the health service

Artlift have a track record of improving the resilience and health outcomes of patients by working in partnership with Primary Care professionals and Artists across Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

We are commissioned by Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group to provide arts on prescription to NHS patients across the county.

Artlift Values

Everything Artlift does is underpinned by its values:

  • Creativity – creativity plays a vital role in wellbeing, and in the growth of our organisation.
  • Connectivity – the integration of the arts and health sectors, patients and artists, and similar programmes nationally, is at the heart of our work.
  • Community – all our projects are a pathway to becoming part of a longer term sustained community of artists.

Our 4 key Areas of Focus

  1. Arts on Prescription
    providing individuals with mental health issues and long-term conditions, who have been referred by their GP/Health Professional, with a structured pathway of arts sessions leading to independence and self-management.
  2. Medical Arts
    devising innovative approaches using arts techniques in conjunction with health professionals to benefit patients. This can include creative ways of engaging with communities around Public Health issues e.g. interactive theatre to raise awareness about Dementia. This approach could also include designing specific creative techniques in conjunction with a clinician to improve health outcomes e.g. singing with asthma patients.
  3. Training & Accreditation
    mentoring and training public health and arts professionals, and capability building 3rd sector organisations in evidence based approaches to delivering arts and health programmes.
  4. Evaluation and Advocacy
    partnering with arts and health organisations nationally, to develop the evidence base for arts and health work for a range of stakeholders, including commissioners and the wider public.


  • High attendance and completion rates when compared with similar programmes
  • For those that complete, a significant improvement in wellbeing and decrease in symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Successful recruitment of people from a broad range of socio-economic backgrounds

The results, which have been published in Journal of Public Health and the International Journal of Mental Health, indicate a statistically significant improvement in participants’ improved well-being. A ‘recovery rate’ is not straightforward to calculate from a wellbeing measure, but data analysis indicates that it is in the region of 67%

Artlift Projects

Looking for a referral form?

Are you a Gloucestershire or MPCC GP or Health Practitioner?

GPs and other health professionals can refer people for a course of art either alongside or instead of medication and other interventions.

Artlift is also looking for GPs or Health Practitioners interested in hosting Artlift Residencies.