Volume 2022 Number 3
  • EISSN: 2223-506X


In this keynote address, Professor Paul Crawford introduces the distinctive fields of medical and health humanities, and the way that the arts and humanities can bring new capacities and possibilities for healthcare, health and wellbeing. He will discuss terminology and concepts of the medicalization of the illness experience and the rise of more critical, creative and democratising approaches. He will underline the substantial evidence for how the arts and humanities can improve medical outcomes and increase understanding of the public/patient experience of illness. In so doing, he addresses the potential for what he has called ‘creative public health’ that fully addresses the use of social and cultural assets to enhance the health of nations. In particular, he will provide insight into how this can be mobilised in practice through reference to major programs of research. First, he presents an overview of a major project to support and critically address the value of social and cultural assets for the public and a more medicalized initiative to provide patients with a social rather than pharmaceutical prescription. Second, he describes an innovative creative approach to ‘mutual recovery’ that seeks to enhance well-being within and between practitioners, family carers and patients as part of a whole community/ organisation approach to health. Third, he presents findings from his highly successful ‘What’s Up With Everyone’ research-embedded campaign to advance young people’s mental health literacy in association with Academy-award winning Aardman (, etc). Finally, he discusses: a. the potential for creative industries to work more closely with governments and health organisations as part of a ‘shadow health service’, complementing centralised health services through the extensive resources of the creative arts; b. the importance of advancing creative clinical environments in a STEM-dominated healthcare culture.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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