Climate + Health + Arts: A new challenge?


Arts Health & Environment venn diagram

Health is one of the major areas affected by the climate crisis, now and in all forecasts for the future consequences of climate change. We see this in the form of the impacts of extreme weather, in particular heatwaves, but also as anxiety about climate change.

Health is bound up in the various Government Climate Change strategies where action on climate is also action on human health, such as relating to diet and a move towards a more plant-based diet, as just one example. Another key area is greenspace where human health benefits align closely with climate mitigation and adaptation strategies to ensure healthy, active environments for people and nature to thrive.

NHS Boards are facing significant challenges to meet #netcarbonzero targets as this affects every aspect of operations across energy, procurement, waste, transport, as well as public health dimensions of diet and greenspace.

ACHWS and Voluntary Health Scotland are planning to host a series of events at the intersection of arts, health and climate. The first event, planned for February 2022, will offer an overview of the range of relevant issues. This will be followed by further events on specific areas, such as mental health and greenspace.

We’d love to hear from you if you have relevant examples of projects and expertise you would like to contribute and share?  Please get in touch by emailing info@achws.org using the subject line ‘arts health climate’.

Please provide:

  • your contact details
  • an outline of the example or expertise you would like to share, including how it is informed by both health and climate/environment expertise and priorities.
  • identify potential co-presenters from either from culture, health, climate or environment sectors, individuals and / or grassroots or community organisations.

We are keen for contributions to be multi-vocal and to include arts and either/both health and climate environment voices. These might be ‘experts’ or ‘lay’ contributors and in selecting presentations we will be looking to ensure a diversity of representation and actively encourage contributions from people who may be under-represented in public dialogue regarding culture, health and climate action.

Chris Fremantle, Cultural Producer, Lecturer and Researcher and Board Member of ACHWS

 

some links that may be of interest

The São Paulo Declaration on Planetary Health is a multi-stakeholder call to action co-created by the global planetary health community. It outlines the actions necessary for us to achieve a just transformation to a world that optimizes the health & well-being of all people and the planet.

Going green: what do the public think about the NHS and climate change? With the NHS aiming to become the world’s first ‘net zero’ health care system, understanding the views of the public will be important for developing and implementing policies to successfully transition to net zero. This Health Foundation blog explores public perceptions of climate change, health and the NHS. It highlights key findings from an Ipsos MORI survey commissioned by the Health Foundation and considers their implications.

 

 

Scotland Panel, Health & Wellbeing International Conference, 2021

Scotland panel
view of presenters on panel
speakers on the panel

 

The Scotland Panel at Culture, Health and Wellbeing International Conference 2021 took the form of a conversation between an artist, a doctor and a policy maker. Together they discussed what inequalities have been highlighted to them during the pandemic. They considered how much control they felt they had over their situation working in their particular context, what the benefits of creative activity during this time has been, and how we can build on the positives of what we have learned.

The Culture, Health and Wellbeing international conference (CHW21) was on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd June 2021. During the global crisis, the arts and creativity have helped us navigate uncertainty and been agents of hope. The conference provided a space for exploring our individual and collective experiences and articulating a vision for the future. The conference themes were InequalityPower and Sustainability, and it was hosted by Arts and Health South West.

 

The panel was chaired by Robbie McGhee – Chair ACHW Scotland, Associate Director Art in Hospital.

Robbie has twenty-five years’ experience working in the area of arts, mental health and wellbeing, as a practitioner and now in research, funding and development. He is currently Chair of Arts Culture Health and Wellbeing Scotland, Associate Director of Art in Hospital, Freelance Arts and Health Consultant and Arts & Health Research Associate at Glasgow University in School of Medicine.

 

Dr Elizabeth Oommen, Consultant, Medicine for the Elderly, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Elizabeth is a doctor working in the Department of Medicine for the Elderly at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Gartnaval Hospital in Glasgow. She looks after acutely unwell older adults and older adults in a rehabilitation ward post fracture. Elizabeth enjoys working with Art in Hospital and has found patients to have benefited hugely from participation in art sessions.

 

Milica Milosevic, Head of Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion, Creative Scotland

Milica is Creative Scotland’s strategic lead for Equality, Diversity & Inclusions. Previously at Arts Council England, she led on diversity & equality strategy and policy, informing the development and delivery of diversity strategy across England. Alongside managing a team of specialists, Milica managed relationships with a diverse portfolio of arts organisations, and has led social inclusion programmes and collaborations with the youth justice system and arts in health & wellbeing programmes.

 

Jan-Bert Van den Berg, Director, Artlink Edinburgh and the Lothians

Artlink works with people who are elderly and who have a range of disabilities or experience mental ill health. Artlink’s work bridges culture and the voice of people whose lives tend to be trickier due to experiencing a range of inequalities. Jan-Bert brings his creative thinking to Edinburgh Compact, thinking of ways that the public sector and third sector can work together across boundaries to make things better for communities and individuals.

Inequality | Power | Sustainability – The Culture Health and Wellbeing International Conference 2021

conference logo

conference logoCulture, Health and Wellbeing International Conference (CHW21), 21-23 June 2021 

Inequality | Power | Sustainability

 

Drawing on over 200 submissions from 20 countries, there will be 100+ live sessions and 10 country panels from around the world. CHW21 will showcase inspiring arts and health work from across the globe and encourage lively debates informed by different perspectives spanning policy, research, practice, lived experience and co-production.

 

Based on three key themes – Inequality | Power | Sustainability, the digital programme will provide a space for exploring individual and collective experiences and articulating a vision for the future. Designed to engage audiences from around the world with key notes in the morning, afternoon and evening and interactive sessions that take into account different time zones for presenters and audiences, tickets offer full access to the 3-day live programme, as well as access to recordings of sessions on demand between 21st-25th June.

 

  • Early Bird Tickets – £150 (on sale until 7th May)
  • Regular Tickets – £200 (on sale from 8th May – 7th June)

 

Find out more including how tickets can be shared, and book a ticket- www.ahsw.org.uk/event/chw21/

“Every child is an artist”, the Role of Culture in the Health & Wellbeing of Young People

image of young people enjoying workshop

An Arts Culture Health and Wellbeing Scotland (ACHWS) event discussing the role of the arts in improving the wellbeing of children and young people. This was an online event, 2 – 4pm on Wednesday 9th June 2021. 

image of young people enjoying workshop

Following on from the ACHWS event on the arts and older people, “With Age, Art and Life Become One“, this event focused on the role of arts, and culture on the health and wellbeing of children and young people. Both events had over 90 registered attendees and a waiting list for each.

Bringing together a range of arts and health practitioners, this event discussed the impact and issues but also look forward to the role the arts can play in recovering and reshaping the future. The impact on the mental health of children and young people has been huge and the full extent of this is still unknown.

What creative ways can we work together to improve health and mental wellbeing of young people in Scotland?

Speakers:

Some of the presentations have been documented here.

“With Age, Art and Life Become One”, the role of culture in the health & wellbeing of older people.

image of an older person enjoying music

This was an online event that took place 2 – 4pm, on Wednesday 19th May 2021. This was an Arts Culture Health and Wellbeing Scotland event. image of an older person enjoying music

With a title inspired by a quotation from Georges Braque, at this event we explored the role arts and culture play in the health, wellbeing and care of older people whether they live independently or in residential/nursing care and for those who are in hospital.

Older people’s lives have been significantly affected by Covid-19, not least the distressing levels of social isolation and loneliness very many have endured for over 12 months. The removal of much appreciated activities, human contact and services have taken their toll physically, mentally and spiritually on our older population.

How have arts and culture interventions made a difference during these difficult days, what challenges have been faced, and how can the lessons learned help shape the recovery and renewal of services for the future?

What can the arts, culture and care sectors share and learn from one another about compassionate, person-centred and enabling care?

What do we mean by art and life becoming one with age?

Speakers:

Claire Stevens, Chief Executive, Voluntary Health Scotland
Robbie McGhee, Chair of Arts, Culture, Health and Wellbeing Scotland and Associate Director, Art in Hospital
Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive, Scottish Care
Anne Gallacher, Director, Luminate Scotland
Barbara McEwan-Gulliver, Artistic Director, Art in Hospital
Joe Traynor, Head of Museums Development, Museums Galleries Scotland
Leesa Mackintosh, Community Link Worker & Alison Leitch, Community Link Worker, Area Lead, North Edinburgh, NHS Lothians

Both this and its partner event “Every child is an artist”: The Role of Culture in the Health & Wellbeing of Young People had over 90 registered attendees and a waiting list for each event.