Museums as a Remedy for Loneliness

Feelings of loneliness and isolation are becoming an increasing problem and prolonged loneliness can cause several negative effects. The connection between museums and well-being has often been recognized and a visit to the museum can indeed help reduce loneliness.

In the article “Loneliness and Social Isolation – How Can Museums Help?”, Charlotte Coates writes that museums encourage people get out of the house to interact with other people and connect with their local community and consequently help reduce loneliness. The article also lists different examples of ways to activate and engage with the community. For instance, museums in Cornwall, the UK, created projects aimed at people over the age of 65 and with the goal of supporting a traditionally isolated group. Some projects involved outreach sessions where museum objects and activities are taken to the isolated people. Other projects wished to tackle the stigma of loneliness.

Volunteering and lifelong learning programmes are also mentioned as ways to decrease the feeling of loneliness among socially isolated people. The phenomenon of “Museums on prescription” has become increasingly popular and the strong link between museums and well-being has been reaffirmed in several studies. The model is already in use in Canada since 2018.

Charlotte concludes with “museums can be the catalyst for people who want to break free of loneliness.”

Read the full article here.