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Regulation of creative art therapists may be looked at next year, Department reveals

Currently, creative art therapists are not registered, despite calls by some experts in the field.

In recent years the HSE has established some art and music therapy pilot studies and a number of arts and health programmes in various health services.

Former Minister for Health Leo Varadkar told the Dáil in February last year that he was “aware of the clear evidence of the importance of art in health, wellness, and wellbeing. Art therapy is frequently used in mental health services.”

“Creative arts therapists are not currently regulated under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005,” a Department of Health spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI).

“The Act provides that the Minister for Health may, under section 4(2), designate a health and social care profession not already designated if he or she considers that it is in the public interest to do so and if specified criteria have been met.

“The Department’s immediate priority, however, is to establish the regulatory process for the 14 professions already designated and to come to final decisions, following the detailed consultation process, on the regulation of counsellors and psychotherapists. 

“It is proposed that, when all the registration boards have been established, towards the end of 2017 or early 2018, the Department will ask CORU to prepare a risk assessment, in terms of public protection, of the principal health and social care professions seeking designation, including creative arts therapists, and to make recommendations concerning options for their possible future regulation.”

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