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Day four – News digest of the ALLIANCE Annual Conference

Section: The ALLIANCEType: News Item Date Published: 10th September 2020

Here's what happened on the penultimate day of the ALLIANCE's first online and week-long conference.

Day four – Thursday 10 September 2020 – of our first-ever online and week-long annual conference saw over 800 event attendees join five events throughout the day.

World Suicide Prevention Day

Today is world suicide prevention day, and ALLIANCE Digital Manager Nick Watt joined the founder of Brothers in Arms, Dan Proverbs and Chief Executive of mental health app Thrive, Andres Fonseca in a discussion around learning and support of men’s mental health during the pandemic. This conversation focused on self management, prevention, the use of digital technology in supporting wellbeing and a look at the statistic that male suicide is the single biggest killer of men in the UK under the age of 45.

Watch all the episodes in this series of conversations on the ALLIANCE’s Instagram TV (this link will take you away from our website).

Today’s events 

To kickstart our Thursday, day four of the online Annual Conference we joined in a ‘Morning yoga with Scotland All-Strong

Pavlina Pajorova, a yoga teacher at member Scotland All Strong led delegates through a guided 40-minute chair yoga session. This was followed with some breathing exercises to complement the relaxing yoga practice. Chair yoga was intentionally chosen to ensure inclusivity for all abilities.

“My back and neck felt tight after months of working from home – you’ve inspired me!” (event delegate)

How more equal societies reduce stress and improve wellbeing

Richard Wilkinson author of the Spirit Level and the Inner level took delegates through an interesting and insightful presentation on inequality, chronic stress and health. He examined this from a global perspective sharing statistics on wealth, wellbeing and the impact this has on health inequalities.

You can watch the full lecture and Q and A on our YouTube channel (this link will take you away from our website) .

So interesting from @ProfRGWilkinson – Less equal countries also have less social mobility. If you are interested in better outcomes for children one of the most important things you could do is make society more equal.  “The life expectancy gap and healthy life gap in Scotland is ‘the greatest human rights violation in our country.”  @nickmward

The future of citizen focused information

Members of the ALLIANCE’s aliss programme delivered an informative session, looking at how people access information to help them live well at present and into the future. They provide attendees with a snapshot of the current health and wellbeing information landscape, including how COVID-19 has impacted on citizens’ ability to find and access meaningful information, explored the options available for people to self manage their own health and wellbeing from an information accessibility viewpoint, and set out practical and achievable actions towards ensuring citizens are at the heart of the health and wellbeing information landscape in Scotland.

Shaping Scotland’s future together

The debate chaired by Pennie Taylor discussed how we can build on what we have to create a fairer and more equal future,  contributions came from Michelle Carruthers from the FoodTrain who has seen access to her service increase by 70% and asked should older people be added as a new protected characteristic?  Nicola Dickie from COSLA said for greater diversity and decision making among Councillors we need more people to stand for election.  Jennifer Wallace from the Carnegie UK Trust praised Scotland for creating world-class policies and programmes but what we need to improve at is implementing these into practice. Mark from Royal Blind and Scotland’s War Blinded who are soon to be rebranded asked if its time we rebranded? And our final speaker Michael McEwan said if he had a magic wand to create one change in the future it would be to stop labeling people.  A widely diverse and engaging debate.

You can watch the full discussion on YouTube (This link will take you away from our website)

‘Health and social care, COVID-19 and See Me’ closed day four of the week-long conference

This afternoon we were joined by See Me’s Social Movement Support Officer, Lynn Pilkington, See Me’s Health and Social Care Improvement Advisor, Tom Scot, and Community Champion Wendy McDougall for an interactive workshop on the adoption of healthcare support resources and mental health inclusion. Tom explored the difference between stigma and discrimination in mental health with an interactive ‘game’ and Wendy raised a great point about how the stigma of mental health is spread by mass media and the importance of reflecting on stereotypes and misrepresentation while sharing her own powerful story of lived experience. Attendees were then invited to join group discussions around implementing See Me’s resources into health and social care settings.

Although we are all learning how to look after our mental health, stigma and discrimination is still an issue we have to address“. Lynn Pilkington

The tweet of the day

Shoutout for @pavlinapajorova and @ALLIANCEScot for such a wonderful Yoga session this morning, really helps bring the mind, body and soul together in a way that boosts you with spirit and confidence you need for the day. #ALLIANCEConf20 #Exercise #Yoga #HealthBody #HealthyMind

Feedback from day four 

How Richard exemplifies the value of thoughtful social science (and of drawing across disciplines and methods – especially nice to hear him draw on qualitative data on people’s experiences). The talk was impressive and inspiring and a much-needed personal boost – thank you Richard for sharing your work and ideas, and to the organisers for arranging it“.

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