Last Thursday I attended SERC’s conference on Driving Social and Economic Change at La Mon Hotel & Country Club and what a conference it was……. I nearly didn’t go, but the draw of Sir Harry Burns was too much and he did not fail to meet, NO! exceed expectations. The connections he has made in his medical career and work in the realm of public policy between health, deprivation and mental health; the root causes and the failures of current policy initiatives is fascinating. But why does it feel no one is listening? The evidence is all there. So why do policy makers and decision makers keep doing what they’ve always done despite the glaring obvious evidence that inspiring, committed and passionate professionals such as Sir Harry present to them? The evidence is not only sound but compelling.
The main take aways (for me) of Sir Harry’s key note speech:
- Inequality of death is not an issue of age
- Salutogenesis; an assets approach causes well-being (going to look into this one more, or ask my good friend Jenny about it )
- There is molecular biology in a hug (yes, I’ve always known they feel good; but there is science and it goes deep)
- Adverse childhood events lead to increased risk of alcoholism, obesity, criminal behaviour and deprivation
- Thinking Yes (an initiative implemented by Martin Armstrong of the Wheatly Group) can and does help people
- Involving people in decisions which affect them; mentoring and increasing their self-esteem has the power and ability to change lives and break the “cycle of alienation”