How Arts can Improve Health and Wellbeing: A Digital Panel Discussion

How Arts can Improve Health and Wellbeing: A Digital Panel Discussion

How Arts can Improve Health and Wellbeing: A Digital Panel Discussion - YPIA Event

How Arts can Improve Health and Wellbeing: A Digital Panel Discussion | 23rd March 2021 | 7:30PM - 8:30PM



A year on from the first UK-wide lockdown and the arts sector is in a very interesting place. The value of the arts has asserted itself time and time again, yet we are still facing increasing job losses and reduced funding, allowing fewer young people access to paid roles and opportunities within the sector.

Organisations which have pivoted to digital programming in the last year have offered us theatre, concerts, exhibitions, webinars and so much more, engaging with audiences in a new way to foster a sense of community when we felt most isolated. In this context, the effect of arts engagement on improving mental wellbeing is unquestionable. However, studies have also shown that increased involvement in the arts, either through participation or through appreciation, can also improve a person’s physical health and even add years onto their life.

Join Scottish YPIA ambassadors, Rosa and Caitlin, for a panel discussion on the role of arts engagement in improving health and wellbeing and how we can consider the sector a necessity, rather than a luxury. We will be asking our panel about their work in this field, what they have learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic and how we can incorporate this kind of work into our own practice.
The event will begin with introductions by each of our panellists, followed by a debate and a Q&A with the audience. We will close up with a brief mindfulness session led by Susanne Olbrich, a trained facilitator and one of our panellists. 


  • Susanne Olbrich is a pianist, music educator and experienced mindfulness teacher. The focus of her work is on exploring music-making, creative practice and mindfulness alongside one another. She offers mindfulness sessions, courses and retreats to individuals, organisations and communities. Susanne holds a Master's in Music from Oldenburg University (Germany) and a MSc in Mindfulness Studies from the University of Aberdeen. As a composer and performer, she has released an album with original music, ‘Continuations’. She co-founded the Mindful Artists Network. 

  • Iona McCann started working at Art in Healthcare in December 2016 as the Outreach Manager for the visual arts social prescribing project 'Room for Art', based in various locations in Edinburgh. Previous to this she has worked in many gallery and museum settings including Edinburgh Printmakers, Glasgow Museums, McManus; Dundee's Art Museum and Gallery and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and as Public Engagement Co-ordinator for GENERATION (a partnerships project between Creative Scotland, Glasgow Life and National Galleries Scotland). She has a BA(hons) Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art and Design in Dundee and an MA Art Museum and Gallery Education from Newcastle University. Facebook - @roomforartedinburgh Instagram - @room4art

  • Lily Asch is a storyteller, facilitator and social entrepreneur. She is the founder of Real Talk CIC, a social enterprise dedicated to mental health storytelling. She is passionate about the intersection of arts and wellbeing and a believer in the power of human connection and empathy. You can find her hosting engaging online workshops and trainings and dreaming up ways to get people sharing stories

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