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Parliamentary Event - How the Arts and Humanities Enhance Health and Wellbeing

Date: 04/06/2013

MPs and peers are today being given the opportunity to meet researchers across all disciplinary areas working in the field of health and wellbeing. The event, being held today in the Houses of Parliament, has been organised by Research Councils UK and POST (Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology) to raise awareness of the ways in which publicly-funded research can improve public health and wellbeing. Each Research Council will have a stand at the event and parliamentarians and peers will meet with researchers working in this field to discuss their work.

The AHRC stand will explore how the arts and humanities can bring the ethical, cultural and creative insights of the arts and humanities to bear on addressing broader medical, therapeutic and demographic challenges. PhD student Gill Brigg (University of Nottingham) will explain how her play ‘White Peacock’ (AHRC film), a vibrant multi-sensory play written for audiences aged 11 and above labelled as having profound and multiple, severe, or moderate learning disabilities, generated considerable enthusiasm when showed at Nottingham Playhouse recently, while Professor Paul Crawford (also University of Nottingham) will talk about how the Health Humanities can enhance health and wellbeing through cultural interventions.

Films will also be shown on the stand, including a film highlighting Gill Briggs' work, another showcasing the ‘Compositions for Cochlear Implantees’ (AHRC Film) project based at the University of Southampton, and one about the ‘Visualising the Invisible’ project, one of six projects being funded through a collaboration between the AHRC and the Scottish Funding Council.

A publication highlighting the contribution of the arts and humanities to enhancing health and wellbeing is also being launched at the event today. Containing information about a wide range of projects being funded by the AHRC, the publication highlights work being undertaken in areas such as ageing, dementia, community health, wellbeing and learning disabilities, and the health humanities.

Rick Rylance, Chief Executive, Chief Executive of the AHRC, who will address the event, said: There is nothing more important to us, as individuals and as a society, than our health and well-being. While advances in medical science have brought us immeasurable improvements, we are only just beginning to understand the profound role of cultural experience in promoting health and well-being: not just by prolonging life but by giving meaning and value to it. This publication highlights some of the ways in which the arts and humanities develop our quality of life. And that might be among the biggest of our challenges over the next few decades.

Read the publication here Health and Wellbeing: The contribution of the arts and humanities (PDF, 16.1MB).

If you would like print copies of the publication, please contact: communications@ahrc.ac.uk

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