UCL Health of the Public


Creative Health Community

Our Creative Health Community brings together researchers from across UCL whose work focuses on health creation and understanding creative approaches to reducing health disparities.

Get involved | Meet our community leads | Our activities | Case Studies | Podcasts and events

About us

Community-based approaches to public health are increasingly recognised as a key vehicle for tackling health inequalities. The UK’s new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities reports that with around 80% of a person’s long-term health dictated not by the care they receive but by the wider social determinants of health, tackling health inequity requires a coordinated and integrated approach across local, regional and national systems, and importantly communities. Asset-based approaches to health, including the expansion of social prescribing, offer new routes to connecting individuals with sources of support within their communities to address health prevention and health promotion.

The National Centre for Creative Health defines Creative Health as ‘creating the conditions and opportunities for arts, creativity and culture to be embedded in the health of the public’. Within our Community, we expand this to include all asset-based approaches to health including nature and the outdoors, the built environment, design and architecture, laws and beyond. We welcome anyone from biomedicine, the sciences (life, physical, population, social, historical), engineering, education, arts and humanities to join forces to explore how asset-based approaches to health can be harnessed to improve the health of the public.

UCL is connected to a range of wider initiatives related to Creative Health and offers the world’s first and only MASc in Creative HealthRelated organisations include:

Get involved

Join our Creative Health Community Teams Site to receive regular updates on the latest creative health news, events and funding opportunities that relate to the cross-disciplinary research taking place across UCL. Please note you must be a UCL researcher or student to sign-up as this is an internal network.

Join the Creative Health Community Teams Site

Meet our community co-leads

Rochelle Burgess

Dr Rochelle Burgess is Associate Professor in Global Health and Deputy Director of the UCL Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases, at the Institute for Global Health. Rochelle is interested in the promotion of community approaches to health globally, and views communities as a route to understanding and responding to the political economy of poor health. 

Humera Iqbal
Dr Humera Iqbal is Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Psychology based at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, part of the UCL Social Research Institute.  Humera studies young people and families particularly from migrant and minority groups, social representations, citizenship, including statelessness and identity.

Karen Mak
Dr Karen Mak is a Research Fellow in Quantitative Social Science at the Institute of Epidemiology & Health. Karen’s research explores how arts and cultural engagement is associated with improvements in mental health and wellbeing and identifies the profile of engagers across the UK using theories from sociology, behavioural science, and geography.

Our activities 

  • Opportunities to enhance your education portfolio.
  • Discussing capacity building, new grants/calls.
  • ‘Open mic’ sessions, to present and test out your new creative idea, theory or experiment.
  • Support for early-career researchers, working with the new WHO Collaborating Centre for Arts and Health.
  • Field trips to visit and be involved in new creative health stimulus – we are open to your suggestions. 

Case studies


Upcoming events
Join our Creative Health Community Teams Site to receive regular updates on the latest creative health events.

  • UCL Creative Health Community Early Career Researcher Event | 12 October 2023 | 14:30-16:30 | Object-based Learning Laboratory, UCL, Wilkins Building, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT
    Are you a UCL early career researcher interested in improving population health and wellbeing using arts and creative approaches? Would you like to network with other like-minded researchers across UCL? The UCL Health of the Public Creative Health Community is excited to invite you to this interactive networking and relationship-building workshop where you will meet researchers from different disciplines who share the same research interests as you. Further information


Past events

  • Collective Creativity for health: A workshop with Artist in Residence Nora Wuttke - March 2023
    An interactive drawing workshop led by Artist in Residence, Nora Wuttke.
  • UCL Health of the Public Creative Health Community Event - Monday 28 March 2022
    Following the successful launch of the Creative Health Community at the end of 2021, UCL Health of the Public hosted an event at the end of March 2022 to bring the community together in person. Click here to read the full post-event summary and speaker presentations.
  • Creative Health Community Launch - Monday 22 November 2021
    Click here to watch our launch event and to find out more about the community.

Featured Podcast

How can arts and creativity tackle health inequalities?

We speak to widely exhibited artist Dr Harold Offeh and UCL's Professor Helen Chatterjee, to explore what arts and creativity have to do with public health, and how they can help tackle health inequalities. 

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