Prescription museum visits to relieve Covid-19 stress

© Image: Bianca Isofache Woman with her back to the camera is looking at a painting of a person in a black dress. The wall is also black which contrasts the woman's red dress.

© Image: Bianca Isofache

A three-month pilot project in Brussels, Belgium, allows doctors to prescribe museum visits to rebuild mental health amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

To begin with, patients treated for stress at the Brugmann hospital will be offered free visits to five public museums. The results of the pilot will be published next year with the hope that the initiative can be rolled out further.

The project is initiated by Delphine Houba, alderperson responsible for culture in Brussels, who was inspired by a similar scheme in Quebec, Canada, where doctors can prescribe up to 50 museum visits a year to patients. “It has been shown that art can be beneficial for health, both mental and physical.” Houba told the Belgian newspaper L’Echo.