The short read
Manifesto for Arts and Health by Clive Parkinson (MMU, 2011) (Free download)

The long read
Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing an All Party Parliamentary Group Inquiry into Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPG, 2017) giving a thorough description and analysis of practice, impact and policy in the UK.

While the term Theatre in Health Education was coined in the 1980s, the field of Arts for Health exploded during the 2000s driven by the new health and wellbeing agenda. Participatory theatre in this context is used to achieve the Five Ways to Wellbeing: connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give. It spans mental health settings, hospitals and care homes; is offered in some places ‘on prescription’ and in others to help people ‘live well with dementia’. Primarily theatre is used as a workshop process, but sometimes performances are created that raise awareness of health issues or articulate the patients’ voice to policy makers and health care professionals. Valley and Vale and Entelechy Arts illustrate the breath of theatre-based arts for health practice, and networks in Wales, Scotland, and England provide case studies showing the extent of the work.