Lagos to Employ Art as Healing Therapy in Health Facilities

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Sanwo-Olu

Martins Ifijeh

The Lagos State government has inaugurated a 10-member committee; ‘Art4Life Steering Committee’ to oversee the use of art as healing therapy in health facilities across the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who inaugurated the committee in his office at Alausa, Ikeja, explained that the committee will drive the Art4life project aimed at using art to create a soft and compassionate environment to aid the process of healing for patients in health facilities.

“The Art4Life project marks a new dimension in how we manage healthcare and wellbeing of our people in Lagos. We are adding a softer touch to how we deliver quality health care to our people in Lagos by bringing arts to contribute and transform the healing process in our health facilities”, Abayomi said.

He added that the Art4Life project was in further fulfilment of the present administration’s promise and commitment to strengthen healthcare system in the state, noting that the introduction of art therapy will help improve mental health and wellbeing of citizens.

Abayomi stressed that the Art4Life project will introduce a softer method of looking beyond the physical in attending to patient’s health thereby reducing trauma, anxiety, emotional difficulties, and medical conditions amongst others.

“We need to pay great attention beyond the physical with a view to reducing mental trauma, emotional difficulties as well as depression, family or relationship issues through art therapy”, the commissioner said.

While explaining the benefits of art therapy, Abayomi stated that several art methods, including visual, creative and performing arts, such as drawing, painting, music, dancing and collage, amongst others may be used with patients ranging from young children to the elderly, adding that people who have experienced emotional trauma, physical violence, domestic abuse, anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues can benefit from expressing themselves creatively.

He assured that the use of art therapy would be activated in all medical facilities across the state emphasizing that it has a magical way of impacting positively on a depressed patient especially when they see nature.

He urged members of the committee which include Ms Aduke Gomez as the Chairperson; Ms Adenrele Sonariwo, Mr. Victor Ehikhamenor, Princess Adepeju Hameed, Mrs Dorcas Shonibare, as well as Dr. Tolu Ajomale, Mr Bimbo Manuel, Mr. Umaru Aliyu, Mr. Muyiwa Majekodunmi and Mr. Wale Adeniji to go the extra mile in achieving its goals and objectives so that in less than a year, its successes can be celebrated.

In her remarks, Gomez thanked the government for the opportunity to serve.

Also inaugurated same day was a three-man Advisory Committee for the Art4Life initiative headed by Dr. Abayomi Finnih with Ms Yeni Kuti and Nelson Makamo as members. They are expected to act as patrons, playing advisory role to assist the steering committee.