Promoting Wellbeing: What Works? – Charlie Woods

I recently attended a conference organised by ‘What Works Wellbeing’, which looked at the emerging evidence of what promotes wellbeing and quality of life for individuals and society more generally. The conference was organised around the themes of the What Works programme – work and learning, culture and sport, communities and cross cutting methods.

The idea behind a wellbeing focus is that it goes beyond narrow measures of economic output. Scotland’s National Performance Framework illustrated below is an excellent example of just such an approach.

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Creative Communities: Making the Invisible Visible through Creative Expression of Mental Wellbeing in Land and Sea Communities

This innovative programme seeks to create new modes of expression to address, communicate, and share the often obscured challenges of people experiencing (or affected by) mental ill-health.  Focusing particularly on the rural areas of Scotland, from land-based to maritime communities, it will explore how to develop an increased sense of personhood and collective wellbeing in these frequently invisible communities.  It seeks to understand how the resilience of rural communities and the wellbeing of individuals can be enhanced if mental health issues are expressed, shared and addressed more widely.  Its overarching aims are to inform the Scottish Government Rural and Mental Health Policy development, and to contribute more generally to the Mental Health agenda in Scotland by reflecting the lived experience expressed by citizens.

Programme Team:

Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam (The Glasgow School of Art), Design Innovation.
Professor Chris Speed (Edinburgh College of Art), Chair of Informatics.
Professor Stewart Mercer (University of Glasgow), Chair in Primary Care Research.
Professor Sarah Skerratt (Scotland’s Rural College), Director of SRUC’s Rural Policy Centre.
Dr Jane Atterton (Scotland’s Rural College) – Rural and regional development issues, rural economies and businesses.
Dr Tara French (The Glasgow School of Art) – Psychology and Design Innovation.
Dr Mafalda Moreira (The Glasgow School of Art) – Amplified Design Mindset, human-centred and strategic design.
Dr Cheryl McGeachan (University of Glasgow) – Human Geographer, historical and cultural geographies of mental ill-health.