Skip to main content
Front cover of report

Arts and health: supporting the well-being of forcibly displaced people

Policy | |

Key points

  • Globally, an estimated 84 million people were forcibly displaced in 2021. In the first half of 2022, more than 11.9 million people have had to leave their homes because of the war in Ukraine alone.
  • Arts activities can play a role in psychological, behavioural and social processes that are linked with improved mental well-being, such as supporting the preservation of personal identity, heritage and experience.
  • Engagement in arts activities can positively impact forcibly displaced people, as well as their host community, by promoting social inclusion, social cohesion, social acceptance and belonging.
  • Artistic expression is an indicator of and a contributor to vibrant, resilient and healthy societies. Therefore, investment in the arts means investment in the well-being and social cohesion of both forcibly displaced people and their host communities.



This publication was initiated by the CultureForHealth project, which is co-funded by the European Union and led by Culture Action Europe. Key contributors include the WHO Collaborating Centre for Arts and Health, University College London; the Arts and Health initiative, New York University; and the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford.

View all documents
Related resources