NH nonprofit mixes art and medicine to tackle healthcare workers’ stress

Smartphone-based program aims a break ‘stress response cycle’

Articine LogoArticine, a Newfields-based nonprofit, has introduced a pilot program aiming to combine the arts with medicine to create wellness experiences for frontline healthcare workers experiencing stress and trauma. The Frontline Healthcare Worker project pilot launched in late September at Dartmouth’s Family Medicine Residency at Concord Hospital and winds down on Oct. 22.

The results of the program will be assessed by a focus group of clinical and administrative staff, who will study the effectiveness and interest of different video experiences with the goal of expanding the program to healthcare organizations throughout the country.

The program features short, three-to-five-minute guided experiences, accessed via smart devices, including guided meditation, breathing and movement exercises and short performances by artists across the country.

The goal of the program is to allow participants a break in their “stress response cycle,” alleviating anxiety and pressure related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“For me, meaningful art speaks to the human condition,” said Articine co-founder Robin Marcotte. “The majority of my artistic experiences have been based on health challenges in my communities. Health is a common denominator in our human condition. It was time for us to connect the humanity of the arts to the power of medicine.”

“We kept the duration of the videos in mind as we were creating them,” Marcotte added. “It allows our participants, who typically have very limited time, a unique chance to use art and movement as an efficient tool to decompress.”

The project received funding from The NH State Council on the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

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