Philosophy & Mental Health: Public Festival at HOME

Poster for Royal Institute of Philosophy 2022 Public Festival. Image of a green woman, with a line drawing of commuters on the underground in the woman's brain.

Cluster members Dr Anna Bergqvist and Alana Wilde are running an exciting public festival at HOME Manchester exploring the ways in which philosophers can contribute to psychiatry and mental health. Featuring the annual lecture by the Royal Institute of Philosophy, this festival explores the challenges facing public mental health and includes contributions by artists, activists, practitioners, philosophers and academics. The festival will be on Wednesday 28 September. More information and tickets HERE.

The event features themed roundtable discussions ranging the value of lived experience to navigating value and difference in public mental health. The day will begin with a public lecture on the Creative Arts and Public Mental Health, featuring Dr Panayiota Vassilopoulou of the University of Liverpool who will speak to the “lived experience” exhibition Phantom Limb on pain that toured the North West pre-pandemic

Anna told us more about the festival …

This Public Festival brings together experts in public mental health and philosophical research and associated areas of theory to interrogate the role of lived experience in public mental health research. Public mental health is a rapidly expanding area of interdisciplinary research, linking academics, charitable foundations, NGOs and policy makers. Complementing recent work on biomarkers and psychiatric medicine, philosophical methodologies are well positioned to address the gaps in our theoretical understanding of concepts of quality of life, and shared decision-making: key to the development of an inclusive and efficient approach to public mental health. This is particularly true with regard to the role of patients as experts, as real contributors of knowledge in the establishment of public health literature bases, especially in areas of severe and enduring mental illness (SMI). It will also involve academics from public mental health research centres, and activists and members of the EbE community. It will explore how we might approach and begin to answer philosophical questions raised by the inclusion of individuals with lived-experience of mental health.  The interdisciplinary engagement with these topics provides both a fresh perspective on the current public mental health landscape and offers a robust analysis of some of the most important complexities facing public mental health, thus providing clear scope and direction for future researchers and practitioners alike.

Contributors include

  • Anna Bergqvist (Manchester Metropolitan University).
  • David Crepaz-Keay (The Mental Health Foundation)
  • Sam Fellowes (Lancaster University). 
  • Bill Fulford (University of Oxford).
  • Ashok Handa (University of Oxford).
  • Edward Harcourt (University of Oxford).
  • Ian James Kidd (University of Nottingham)
  • Ulrik Kihlbom (Karolinska Institute).
  • Colin King (Independent Scholar and Activist).
  • Mohammed Rashed (Birkbeck University).
  • Lucienne Spencer (University of Birmingham)
  • Kai Syng Tan (Manchester Metropolitan University).
  • Tim Thornton (University of Central Lancashire). 
  • Panayiota Vassilopoulou (University of Liverpool).
  • Alana Wilde (Manchester Metropolitan University).

Published by Dr Rosamund Oates

I am a Reader in Early Modern History at Manchester Metropolitan University. From 2021-2023 I have a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to research deafness in Early Modern England. Publications include Moderate Radical: Tobie Matthew and the English Reformation (Oxford University Press, 2018).

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