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Creative Public Health

Date: 17 Sep 2022, Saturday | Time: 1020 - 1150 | Track Type: Main Conference Workshop | Format: Face-to-face | Venue: Seminar Room L1-S1, Academia 

Speaker: Prof Paul Crawford


COVID-19 brought an unprecedented outbreak of creativity worldwide. People realised more than ever before how creative activities offer immunity to boredom, lift our mood and break social isolation. Creative survival during the pandemic involved all kinds of activities in the arts and humanities, from singing in the street to online performance arts, the creation of films, and so much more.

Health humanities has spearheaded compelling evidence for diverse creative practices benefitting physical and mental health. It is a field that challenges a number of established norms for how nations can maintain or advance healthy populations, not least in terms of mutual recovery.

There is a superabundance of creative assets or resources for health. In the UK alone there are 40,000 choirs (Voices Now, 2018), 11,000 amateur orchestras, 50,000 amateur arts groups, 5,000 amateur theatre societies, and 3,000 dance groups (Dodd et al, 2013). Importantly, these are but a small sample of the many diverse arts and crafts resources in play at any time, and often easily accessible, around the world.

Engagement with the creative arts and humanities places the public at the heart of public health. A prescription is not required. Taking part in creative activities is something that the majority of people can achieve and should be a priority in preventive health.

In this workshop, Professor Crawford explores how the public can engage in creative practices to enhance their health and wellbeing. In particular, he explores the potential benefits for creative practice-rich communities assisting in the mutual recovery of mental health and physical wellbeing, reducing the burden on medical services and the burnout of medical practitioners.

Learning Objective(s):

By the end of the workshop, attendees will be able to:

  • Own at least one benefit of creative practice in their own lives
  • Describe the concepts of health humanities, mutual recovery and creative public health
  • List at least five key health and well-being benefits of creative practices in the arts and humanities
  • Identify at least one creative practice that can be applied to benefit people living with a specific health condition of their choice
  • Formulate five key steps for realistically advancing creative assets for health in their respective territories.

Target Audience:

All are welcomed, no prior level of knowledge/ experience is required.


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