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The Cultural Consultation Service

The only UK-based organisation that provides cultural consultation, training, research and policy at multiple levels, including the individual, teams, organisations and social systems.

  • School/Institute/Department: The Wolfson Institute
  • Subjects: Culture, healthcare
  • Audience: General public

The cultural consultation service aims to improve understanding and uptake of cultural and social interventions in health care and by populations at large by engaging with public and patient narratives of mental illness; Queen Mary Professor Kam Bhui has provoked debates in the media and in government on khat use, on diagnosis and assessment, radicalisation as a public health issue, cultural identity, and cultural influences on the expression and treatment of mental distress and disorders.

The service has its Scientific topics presented in lay and practitioner media, including blogs and website (Mental Health Today, Community Care, The Voice, Guardian Professional); Launched a YouTube Channel on cultural consultation and runs  its own blog on public mental health  (publicmentalhealthbybhui)

One example of the project’s activity is it’s engagement with young people. It has run a feedback session, enabling young people to they evaluated conferences, where they expressed their concerns over how alienating conventional conferences can be as opposed to the ‘chilled out’ conferences which got a better reaction. These young people want to continue working on joint projects with The Cultural Consultation Service as a team, and, for example, in future voluntary projects and research activities

All activities are driven by an objective of engaging with multiple personal and culturally influenced narratives of health (or illness perceptions) and wellbeing from the public and to reconcile these with professional perspectives in health care and policy. A further objective is to use these in order to resolve difficult dilemmas in health care provision, uncertainty in scientific evidence, and to propose community-supported policies based on best available evidence. For example, the policy work with public health bodies aims to ensure inequalities are understood and prioritised in public health, and that socially excluded groups are not neglected.

To find out how you can get involved and help shape the social aspect often ignored in healthcare, have a look at http://www.culturalconsultation.org.uk/

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