Introduction: Heritage and well-being
Place of Publication: Oxford
In introducing and contextualizing the papers in this volume attention is directed to the current prevalence and associated economic and social costs of mental health provision. The societal importance of finding non-medicalized approaches to the enhancement of mental health well-being is underlined, and it is argued that, as later chapters clearly show, cultural heritage has a lot to offer. Consideration is given to commonly used ways of defining ‘well-being’, and the scope and nature of cultural heritage represented as archaeological sites and ancient or historic landscapes. International, European Union, national, and regional agreements, legislation, strategies, and public policy in relation to heritage and well-being are reviewed, and attention given to the work of government agencies in the UK. The idea of therapeutic landscapes is reviewed as a starting point for thinking about cultural heritage therapy as a form of social prescribing and the wide range of case studies from Britain and the near continent included in this volume.