Migrants, Multiculture

Exporting Latin American happiness

On 7th March University of Leicester will be hosting a conference entitled: “Well-being, Culture and Society: Cuban and UK Perspectives 2013”.


exportar lafelicidadMental health spans a wide range of activities connected directly or indirectly to mental well-being, defined by the WHO [World Health Organisation] as: “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not only the absence of emotions and illnesses”.

Consequently, mental health is connected to the promotion of well-being, the prevention of mental disturbances and the treatment and rehabilitation of people affected by said disturbances.

This wider meaning of the term is being promoted by policy makers and health professionals with the aim of redefining the services they provide to reflect a broader understanding of what is meant by mental health.

Likewise, the term has gained acceptance in economic circles and GNP is no longer considered to be an indicator of happiness. Indeed, it is recognised that increases in GNP have not translated into greater levels of well-being.

This is why the organisation New Economics Foundation has established the Happy Planet Index, an alternative index of development and human and environmental well-being.

In the 2012 index, ten of the top twelve nations are in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the top eleven are included: Costa Rica, Vietnam, Colombia, Belize, El Salvador, Jamaica, Panama, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guatemala.

Cuba is ranked in 12th place while the UK is 43rd.

Taking those figures, the conference “Well-being, Culture and Society: Cuban and UK Perspectives 2013” will analyse the well-being of both countries to explain how culture, economics and health issues affect each population.

To do that, the conference will unite psychologists and health professionals with Latin American and Cuban academics to explore the concept of well-being in a Cuban context, and try to understand what the UK can learn from Cuba in terms of social well-being.

The event will take place on 7th March at the University of Leicester (33 Putney Rd, Leicester LE2 7TG).

For more information visit: http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/psychology/postgraduate/clinical-psychology/news/cuba2013

(Translated by Claire Donneky – Email: claire.donneky@ukgateway.net)

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