Conference of International Experts Calls for a Focus on Well-Being and The Person in Health

Nov 11, 2009, 10:36 ET from Anthropedia Foundation

NEW YORK, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The New York Conference on Well-Being and The Person took place this weekend, bringing together an international group of leading psychiatrists, internists, educators, and scientific researchers. The Anthropedia Foundation and the International Network of Person-Centered Medicine organized the conference, whose purpose was to address well-being and health promotion in medicine and psychiatry. Participants explored the meaning and dimensions of well-being and health, addressed barriers to the development and maintenance of well-being, and discussed successful health promotion models in various countries. Additionally, participants collaborated to design tools and procedures for person-centered care and well-being outcomes research.

A shift in healthcare focus must be a priority because although life-spans are increasing, we are not seeing increases in quality of life and well-being. Focusing on well-being and health promotion will reduce stigma of mental illness, help prevent chronic disease, reduce relapse and recurrence risks, reduce healthcare costs, and increase productivity due to greater health.

To effectively achieve these benefits will require a shift in attitude and perspective in the training of physicians, education of the public, public policy, and clinical outcomes research. The development of well-being requires consideration and integration of body, thought, and psyche within a person's social context. Interventions for promoting well-being in clinical care need to be contextualized and person-centered. The growing shift in focus toward health promotion, coupled with emerging tools to deliver more person-centered care, will help people improve quality of life, not just longevity.

The conference was co-chaired by Robert Cloninger, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Genetics and Director of the Center for Well-Being at Washington University in St. Louis and Juan Mezzich, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and Immediate Past-President of the World Psychiatric Association. Participants included Drs. James Appleyard (London), Claudio Banzato (Brazil), Michel Botbol (Paris), Eric Cassell, (NY), Kevin Cloninger (NY), Michael First (NY), Sita Kedia (Denver), Laurence Kirmayer (Montreal), Lauren Munsch (NY), Wolfgang Rutz (Uppsala, Sweden), Ihsan Salloum (Miami), Luis Salvador-Carulla (Cadiz, Spain), and Tom Sensky (London).

The symposium will publish papers from conference presentations with the aim of increasing awareness among physicians about strategies and tools available to improve person-centered care. As this becomes a greater priority in healthcare, psychiatrists and internists are moving to engage in active trials of health promotion that utilize a person-centered approach in clinical settings.

About Anthropedia

As rates of lifestyle and stress-related illnesses increase worldwide, the Anthropedia Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit foundation, teaches ways to foster health and happiness that are adapted to the 21st century. At Anthropedia, experts in medicine, psychology, art, public health, and education design resources that help people cultivate healthy lifestyles, psychological resilience, positive emotion, and self-awareness.

Anthropedia's educational resources are unique because they integrate the best practices from diverse fields into comprehensive, scientifically-based strategies to physical, mental, and social well-being. Anthropedia's tools are simple, practical, and powerful, and can be used by individuals, professionals, and organizations seeking an effective approach to achieving and sustaining well-being.

The innovative Know Yourself DVD series, released in 2009, is a step-by-step guide designed to help people increase self-understanding, manage stress, and live more contented lives.

For more information, visit:

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.

Lauren Munsch

C. Robert Cloninger

SOURCE Anthropedia Foundation