Flourishing in Difficult Times (Think About Health Conference, Birmingham, 19-20 June 2014)

Flourishing in Difficult Times
19 – 20 June 2014
Think about health Summer Conference
Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, Birmingham

What does it mean for a health service to flourish?

How might a sense of flourishing underpin other goals, such as building a just and compassionate service?

How can both patients and practitioners be helped to flourish in the face of adversity?

The 2014 Think about Health Conference will address the conceptual and practical problems of flourishing in health care.

Key note speakers include:

Dr Iona Heath (President of the Royal College of General Practitioners 2009-12)

Dr Hugh Middleton (Clinical Associate Professor, School of Community Health Sciences Division of Psychiatry, University of Nottingham)

Valerie Iles (Founder/Director of Really Learning, an alternative voice about clinical leadership)

Standard Residential fee: £175. To register, please download the Think about health 2014 Registration Form and email to Grace Edgar by 1 June.

If you would like to present a paper or poster exploring personal experiences and practices relating to flourishing, or reflecting more theoretically on the concept of flourishing, please contact Dr Andrew Edgar.

Flourishing in Difficult Times 

It may seem ironic, even inappropriate to talk about flourishing at a time of continuing economic depression and disruptive social change.  However, it is precisely at a time when constraints, financial and other, seem to limit us unyieldingly that it is important to have an eye to the big picture.  Flourishing is not necessarily about attaining impossible ideals surrounded by green pastures, but more about achieving potential within the concrete circumstances and possibilities that are available.   In health and health care, the quest to attain social and individual potential and the mind sets, virtues and practices that might facilitate it are vital.

In this participatory colloquium, we will examine what it means to flourish in difficult times.  We will present a series of pictures of flourishing from health care users, academics, clinicians and others that allows us to take a critical walk round this concept and ask questions like:

What does it mean for health care users to flourish and achieve their potential?

How might health professionals and providers both contribute to individual and social flourishing and attain their own potential?

How can flourishing be supported and encouraged amidst ongoing and severe material health care inequalities by policy makers, politicians and others?

What does it mean to flourish in the context of inevitable disease, diminishment, and death?

How can communities flourish and achieve their health and other potentials?

What enables humans and ideas to prosper and flourish, and what prompts or inhibits ambitions to create conditions in which flourishing can be maximised?

If flourishing is a polar opposite of death and complacency, social and personal, then any vision of a healthy society must take flourishing seriously as a backdrop for ideals such as justice and compassion. This hopeful conference will thus open up a bigger picture of life and practice which should be a solvent to despair and complacency.  Endurance and survival are essential, but realistic flourishing is the goal towards which we should aim.  Come and explore this important theme with a range of clinicians, health service users and interdisciplinary academics in the tranquil setting of Woodbrooke College in Birmingham.

For information about fees and to confirm your place, please download the Think about health 2014 Registration Form and email to Grace Edgar by 1 June.

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