The city of Turku, in southern Finland, is the European Capital of Culture for 2011. Indeed, the city organized a wide array of events to celebrate, and has introduced a quite interesting initiative: doctors in the municipality of Turku are prescribing cultural events to treat their patients.
“The cultural prescriptions available through doctors’ appointments in Turku health centres entitle free admission to certain main events during the Capital of Culture year” according to the Turku 2011 website.
The initiative is part of the “Art and culture for well-being programme” promoted by the Finnish government “to promote well-being and health by means of art and culture and to enhance inclusion at the individual, community and societal levels”. I found the initiative really interesting. I cannot even imagine my doctor prescribing a ticket to the ballet or the circus in order to treat my headache…but I guess I would appreciate it.
If you want to read more about this initiative – and read some of the research made in Finland about the healing value of culture – follow this link.