International conference Participation in cultural heritage for mental health recovery | Call For Contributions

That museums, archives, heritage organisations and the like can create a social value and have a positive impact on health and wellbeing is not just a matter of belief. It’s possible, provided that they develop sustainable offerings in close co-operation with the care sector, communities and the wellbeing policies. Offerings that meet the needs of people and communities not the heritage agenda.

On many places in the world archives, museums, heritage organisations, universities and organizations in the health care sector are working together on long-term trajectories, creative projects and out-of-the box activities. Many of these focus on deploying heritage collections to improve the wellbeing and health of people as well as measuring and evaluate the impact of those interventions.

This conference wants to bring together, on 29 and 30 November 2018 in Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent (Belgium), individuals from the public, academic, third sector and voluntary sectors to promote learning, discussion and debate around interventions with cultural heritage with the aim of improving the wellbeing and health of people recovering from mental health problems or people in a vulnerable situation.


  • Sustainability. Moving from one-off and time-limited activities to programmes that are integrated in the heritage organisation. The impact on the staff, volunteers, collection policy, etc.
  • Embedded. Embedding cultural heritage in health and social care services and commissioning (on prescription). Offerings that are developed from an asset based approach with the community.
  • Evidence based. Gathering the evidence that interventions with cultural heritage for mental health recovery work. In practice, usable methods and tools for measuring and evaluating the impact of interventions with cultural heritage for health and wellbeing.
  • Recovery/prevention. Projects and offerings that focus on prevention, support self-management, keeping carers well and the recovery of people with mental health problems.
  • Heritage collections. Engaging with museum- and archival collections in creative and innovative ways for mental health recovery.

Call for Contributions

We are looking for proposals from people working on creative, innovative or out-off-the-box projects on the themes outlined above in a research or operational capacity that can contribute to this conference.

You can contribute trough a formal presentation or workshop (see below). The conference language will be English.

A paper is presented in presentation of 20 minutes in a conventional conference setting and in a PowerPoint - or PDF format. The sessions consist of 4 papers, with the possibility of a 10 minute question and discussion period at the end of each session.

A workshop offers a practical, hands-on demonstration or training in a particular method or aspect of interventions with cultural heritage collections. Workshops a given during a single session of 90 minutes.

To make a proposal please send a short outline (maximum 150 words) of your proposed presentation or workshop to together with details of your name and organisation before 15 February 2018. Notification of acceptance will take place around 15 April 2018.

Programme Committee

  • Bart De Nil (FARO)
  • Alexander Vander Stichele (FARO)
  • Thomas Kador (University College London)
  • Patrick Allegaert (Museum Dr. Guislain)
  • Winny Ang (University Antwerp)
  • Tom Van Steenkiste (vzw De Link / Recovery Academy Antwerp
  • Lies Galle (Literary Archives Flanders)
  • Simon Bequoye (Reading Agency Flanders)
  • Liesa Rutsaert (Museum Huis van Alijn and Museum about Industry, Labour and Textile)
  • Pascal Janssens (Psychiatric Centre Caritas Melle)

This conference is an organisation of FARO. Flemish interface centre for cultural heritage in co-operation with Museum Dr. Guislain, Reading Agency Flanders, Museum Huis van Alijn, Museum about Industry, Labour and Textile, Literary Archives Flanders, Psychiatric Centre Caritas Melle and vzw De Link / Recovery Academy Antwerp.

Praktische info

Museum Dr. Guislain, Jozef Guislainstraat 43, 9000 Gent,
Adviseur participatie | welzijn
Sectorcoördinator archieven
02 213 10 87

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