If you’re wondering how to encourage more people through your museum barrier systems, you might want to talk to your local doctor’s offices and see if they can prescribe certain patients with a museum trip to help them give their health and wellbeing a boost.

It might sound like a bit of a crazy idea but it’s a strategy that’s now being trialled by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Medecins francophones du Canada, with physicians able to write prescriptions for free museum visits, the BBC reports.

Physicians will be able to issue up to 50 prescriptions to visit certain collections and exhibitions as part of programme that also includes more traditional treatments, with the project due to begin on November 1st.

Director-general of the museum Nathalie Bondil explained that the “neutral, beautiful, inspiring space” found in a gallery can do wonders for mood, as well as improving wellbeing and giving people the opportunity to explore senses and experiences outside of their particular illness or condition.

The museum is also offering art therapy programmes and recently took on an in-house art therapist, as well as taking part in clinical studies investigating the impact that museum visits can have on those with issues such as breast cancer and eating disorders.

Art therapy is something that you could easily offer at your gallery if a partnership with your local GP isn’t on the cards. It can help with the likes of depression, trauma, dementia, bipolar disorder, physical disability and more – and could be the perfect way to showcase your caring philanthropic side while boosting visitor numbers at your place of business.