Talk in Dunedin:Spirituality is a public health issue

Department Preventive & Social Medicine, University of Otago
Spirituality is a public health issue; By Richard Egan
Thursday 20th October 12:10pm -1:00pmRoom 033, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Adams Building, 18 Frederick St, Dunedin

Public health, as opposed to the publicly funded health system, is a discipline that aims to prevent illness, and protect and promote population health and well-being. Public health efforts have largely centred on the understanding, tracking and prevention of diseases. However, there is growing support for a ‘new public health’ approach, which takes a holistic view, encompassing four key dimensions of health: physical, mental, social and spiritual. This holistic approach parallels the Māori model of health, Te Whare Tapa Whā, a model that highlights the interdependence of Te Taha Wairua (spirituality), Te Taha Hinengaro (emotional and psychological health), Te Taha Tinana (physical health) and Te Taha Whānau (social wellbeing). Nonetheless, public health engagement with the spiritual dimension remains largely theoretical and implicit. Despite a growing literature base at the healthcare level, spirituality remains relatively overlooked in public health peer-reviewed literature and practice. This omission is an obstacle to achieving the public health goal of ‘healthy populations’. This presentation aims to present these issues and ask questions about how to develop and map this new area of research.

For more information on our upcoming talks please visit: http://www.otago.ac.nz/dsm-psm

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