Jan 24, 2021

Communicating Good Health and Wellbeing: Promotion, Advocacy and Resilience


In implementing The United Nations’ sustainable development goal “Good Health and Wellbeing”, it is important for health promotion, service provision, and advocacy to address how changing communication methods (digital networks) and new social attitudes (i.e., populism) have produced an anti-expert, anti-medical and anti-vaccination discourse that is gaining popularity and has substantial negative health impacts on  individuals and communities.

At the same time, there is growing scholarly criticism that narrow health solutions, including some pharmaceutical solutions, discourage patients and the general population from embracing an educated, embodied, whole-of life-course approach and socially-grounded understanding of health/wellbeing. Across these two poles, health communication and advocacy face ongoing difficulties in communicating well to groups affected by migration, ageing and socio-economic and welfare vulnerabilities.

The growing fields of the Medical Humanities and Critical Health Sociology can contribute substantially to (a) understanding what works and does not work in health promotion and advocacy; (b) undertaking research on how perceptions of resilience and vulnerability affect the adoption of good health and wellbeing practices, especially for ageing populations, persons affected by migration and vulnerable groups globally; (c) developing sustainable interventions that encourage the adoption of well-informed, ‘positive-yet-critical’ attitudes towards health.

The proposed research activity brings together scholars to address the three above objectives by (i) sharing research on promotion and advocacy of good health and wellbeing, (ii) developing new activities to address new global questions across marginalised, ageing and vulnerable groups, and (iii) produce a platform through which to communicate best practices for contemporary health promotion in a form that can be operationalised by health and mental health advocacy and service provision groups.

Selected outcomes

Outcomes are aligned with the collaboration’s three objectives:

(1) To update the field and share research on promotion and advocacy of good health, mental health and wellbeing in relation to new popular challenges
(2) To gain insight into how concepts of resilience and vulnerability position members of the community to be more critically-aware and positively-oriented subjects of health, mental health and wellbeing discourses
(3) To develop and implement a framework for advising policy, service providers, community members, health promotion experts and wellbeing advocates